When I was young, after she had passed,
I dreamed of her walking along a swinging rope-bridge, 
high above ground in the leafed canopy of larch and linden trees

the bridge twists and turns through the greenery, a system of
paths one hundred feet high, though I cannot see the ground

it goes on and on in sunlight and dappled shade around bends, 
she approaches, she nears, her face clearer with each step,
the clarity of her face grows sharper as the sounds around us, 
wind and birdsong, increase in volume, as does the intensity of 
the buildup of sunlight, until I realize who it is

Eva as a young woman in Bachory, or more precisely, 
an angel of sorts, lit-up as I would imagine 
a resurrected Christ to appear.

to punctuate the moment of recognition, all sound and light become one 
in a startling crescendo that consumes me, disorients me, moves me out of 
my normal frame of reference, where dream meets waking reality

Now it is fifty years later.

Overnite, a winter advisory, snow and ice accumulating 
on the roads, the roofs of the houses

Our skylights are buried in snow,
muffles the sound in the kitchen, disallowing sunlight in, so 
the rooms are much darker.

I make a cup of coffee and sit down to listen to news of the war in Ukraine, 
and continue to research her town on mindat.org, motivated to complete work 
on the family tree before the records are destroyed, gone forever.

I am happy to find her village, Bachory, on a wonderful interactive map of 
the area.  I zoom in to 2000 feet and see the neighboring towns and roads, 
and then, at 100 feet, I am there in the canopies, 
among the larch and linden trees.

At that moment, due to rapidly warming 
mid-morning temperatures, the ice on the skylight 
violently breaks free, creating an incredible noise as it scrapes its way 
down the glass and the roof shingles, moving as an iceberg, grating, 
rushing downward, exposing glaring sunlight where there was deep shadow 
just a moment before.  I am bathed in my senses, unsure of what is happening.

All sound and light become one in a startling crescendo
that consumes me, disorients me, moves me out of 
my normal frame of reference, where waking reality meets a dream

cc: Chagall 2022