Autumn ended with the apple trees
finally loosening their heavy fruit.
The angel breathed, she said
cradling the tiny clothes in her arms,
the angel breathed it to me.
The next day the baby dies inside her.
On our land under the granite hill
white rain streaming down grey furrowed stone
we stumble around planting trees through tears
manna gums, blue gums, broad-leafed peppermints
their crib is the midwinter soil.
The ultrasound made her womb seem a wicker cradle
arching sides woven out of reeds and bulrushes
rocked by a fine, inward-bound stream.
A single bulrush is so compact, dense
until it dries and breaks into pieces,
all fluffy and grainy, it blows away in the wind
or touches the water, drifting.
At vespers, the monks sing to Mary
tell me who she is who rises bright as the dawn
and I shall bless her. River flooding psalm.
Mistress of the waters and guardian of the womb
she gestures to her rounded belly.
Breathing angels are nowhere to be found.