The morning brought a first snow,
And with it wind over the mountain.
I watched snow turn to ice,
Invisible sleet hit the panes a’ hissin’.
Soon a crystal coat on tender branches—
Ghostly hands pulling to earth,
Anchoring them fast.
I depend upon the silence
Creating a space to remember,
Solitude, too, now to be shared
Only with haunts,
Or perhaps a cat or two.
Inside the comfort of crackling wood,
Well seasoned with last year’s split,
The sweet, sharp tang of pine and oak,
The groan of a log shifting its failing weight.
I remember your boot kicking it back off the hearth,
Sparks flaring upward,
Stars enfolded by a blazing sun.
Outside the pelting sting on windows,
The howl of winter racing round eaves
Looking for attic-access between clapboards,
A hambone skeleton dance to
Shake its palsied bones warm.
Soon fading light at twilight
Suspends the day=
A cocoon of white, unfocused mystery.
The night brings a muffled benediction
Over the land,
And memory is put aside for the morrow.
Copyrighted, 2010, “First Snow” originally published in “White Cranes of Heaven”, 2011, Lulu.com
This poem got some needed revisions by me this morning