Within the Crystal Air of Christmas (from A Widow's Wreath)

Like Venetian lace, there is a delicate aura about your home.

Visiting you this snowy morning,
I am filled with sugary shadows,
mirroring messages across corners of my mind.

You sit curled in front of the fire
knitting sweaters as if they were
from another place,
another time, when you were a girl in love
with a country.

In that other place your dreams began,
beyond the crystal air of this Oklahoma winter.

You have a special knack for creating serenity.
Inside these rooms we find your silhouette,
a dimpled smile on a woman's cheek,
an intricately carved oak armoire,
handmade afghans, needlepoint,
fine brass and crystal pieces emerging
among the antiques.

I notice the tiny gold stars decorating your tree.
As I look, it seems as if whole stars
are inside me, twinkling.

Your love has been a gift
tatting designs into my days
as you offer quiet friendship.

I believe there's a space inside you
no one can enter
for you have a layered protection
that guards you like an oyster.

Outside the streets are glassed
into roller coaster ridges
but as you give me a hug, the world
seems filled with the white innocence of the heavenly.

Like plates of royal blue china
sleeping on your walls,
you are very precious to me.