The Fugleman By Phyllis Henry-Jordan

Tuesday December 27, 2005

The fugleman’s song begins at dawn, 

pulling me from the even stitches of 

sleep to the sight of snow piled three 

quilts deep, in pistol-cold morning 

air. The fugleman marches in coffined 

towns, past shuttered houses, their 

eyes slammed shut against Decem ber’s 

rheumy eye, in a sky as crisp as foil 

and balnd as talc; a disk of yellow 

which quiets the owl but lends no flap 

and flutter to the barnyard fowl. 

Subdued by the season the remon tant 

rose and the natural neon of the 

azalea’s flower; it is the tremulous 

aging year’s last hour. The fugleman 

passes upon his way, over depths of ice 

and cold despair, past layers of ritu al 

mud and dread, and grounded leaps of 

faith and air, to the graves of 

soldiers of the passing year.