We were born in the Year of the Horse,
the month Rommel was trapped in the desert,
Paulus in the snow. This, our forty ninth
of marriage, is, again, the Year of the Horse.
We are predicted family happiness,
filial piety, fiscal surety –
urged to avoid pneumonia and be
‘of merry heart’. This is also the year
of the drowned. Somewhere it is always
night – stars fall, meteors rise. The robin,
perched on the street lamp, sings through the dark.
The wild bee, lost in the room where I write,
steers for the sun undeterred by the glass.
To be merry of heart and to know these things
is to be what we are.