Snow Bird Wind Swirl
Snow swirl swings around
grabs up cold wind
abandon bush and branch and ground
spiral up and out
Bird swirl swings around
shakes off cold wind
outline bush and branch and ground
Wind swirl swings around
white-flecks black birds
erase bush and branch and ground
Snow Fall Morning
A dull sky
it is flat.
Sky and snowflakes
infinite layers of gray and snow
arrive one after another
on the ground
endless reams of weightless paper stacking up
in unending rows of columns rising
constructing the form from what was just the idea
From Unpredictable Hue, published in 2019.
Snow in November
oh you lazy first few snowflakes
come too early
and before anyone has set the table for you.
The trees in the yard
still holding on to their gold and brown leaves
look up in surprise. They will be sorry
when you sit down for a good stay
they will be sorry when they understand
the many of you
and how good-host branches bow and snap
under the load of hospitality.
oh there are the many of you snowflakes and now
You come quick and fast and efficient
and you bring your friends and hangers-on and
your bored or stupid or curious or ecstatic to be on the move
snowflake calling to snowflake
in single-file slanting lines
you settle wherever there is a seat untaken while
the trees in the yard
shake their leaves in indignation and
we rush to find enough silverware for the crowd
I see a white tablecloth
has already been spread
From Refuge, 2017.
The night before the snow
put those salt trucks in action
get them to spray their special mix
all over the road
to melt the snow
that’s not yet there.
In the morning
when the snow comes
those snowplows go out every hour.
Yes. We must
against this snow.
People, how many of you
would pay good money
to catch the snow in a big bag mid-air
and get it hauled off somewhere else?
Snow-plow operators, do not vote.
The snow slides your car off the road and into a ditch.
The snow falls from the roof and tears away the gutter.
The snow puts boots on the bride and her wedding guests.
From the collection Refuge, 2017.
Weather report says
a lot of snow
people are talking about
how much snow
We go to bed knowing
snow will be falling
snow on the ground
in the morning
We hear the salt truck
on the street
no snow yet but
fight that snow
we can’t stop the snow
we hate the thought of snow
we like to feel we can do something about the snow
From the collection published in 2017, Refuge.
Snow falling in the night.
Salt trucks and snow plows wake you
from your sink-into-the mattress sleep
the heavy rumble rattling the window
you push apart the blinds to see
their convoy passing in a staggered diagonal
the beams of their headlights
jittering with falling flakes
casting out in front of the drivers who sit
high above the blanketed street
faces lit by the glow of dashboard lights
vague and insubstantial behind the wheel
the trucks moving
fast and aggressive
loom up quick and vanish quicker
gone all at once into the white dark while
the snow falls
From Refuge, 2017.
Over My Shoulder
The snow falls harder
the wind louder, the room smaller
The pattern on the carpet flickers
the colors in the knitted afghan tossed on the sofa
ashamed to be afraid
and yet ready to square off in defense of being afraid
we look at each other
the unease on one face reflected
around the circle
It’s just snow
It’s just snow.
I wrote these back in the fall – we had an early snowstorm in November. Now it’s spring. That does not always mean the snow has given up…
To another ear
the sound of snowflakes falling
is not ominous
night sleet glass rattle
sound-struck susceptible ears
their tiny bones cracked
heavy autumn snow
walnut had waited too long
fell with the cracked branch
From the collection Enough For a Book, 2016.
The snow. A white pepper
shaken with a steady untiring hand
on the contents of the plate.
A curtain to shut out the ugly view
across the street. The snow.
A crowd that gathers, lingers, disperses
in its own time and not before.
A silent friend pulling up the covers and
smoothing out the wrinkles. The snow.
A pale hand that sweeps across and
softens the rough edges.
From the collection published in 2015, Look Winter in the Face.
so early in the morning it’s just short of daylight
and one deer
resting in the snow
under the pines
against the bushes
settled right up against the thin bare branches
not much shelter I think
but the deer rests
with a dusting of snow on its back
and its face turned away from me