Late December lays mist
along the valley, the mountain
peaks dark against a gray sky.
If this is not church, it will
do for now—holy congregation
of titmouse, finch, junco
taking communion at the feeders
beyond my window, a heavenly
choir not yet giving voice.
Stained glass of feather and fur—
cardinal on the limb, a bluebird
splashing rainbows, and beneath
the maple, a squirrel with his own
sacrament of seed and yesterday’s
bread crumbs. No fiery bush
from which God speaks, no miracle
of water into wine, only the daily
spinning of this blessed earth—
light into dark and once more
into light—a ritual our hearts
bow to, our spirits sing.