SNOWFALL

A mile from downtown

this, then, is footing

my Lady in Her Blue Robe
picks green parsley in snow

for the rabbit? or my lunch?
I’ll know in a few hours.

garish poinsettias, she’s right

we dig out snow to cut our Yule tree
the first day of winter and the flannel sheets go on the bed
flip the mattress and rotate

soon, we decorate the tree

after the blizzard, a raven
lands over our suet and cracked corn bird feeders

and then, while digging out
the driveway
the front steps for the mail carrier
and the barn steps for the grandmother
a pathway to the compost bins, on one side
and the stacked firewood, on the other

I’m at the heart of my universe

while my wife tends the fires
in our kitchen

… a foot of snowfall on New Year’s Eve
initiates a covering that doesn’t break until April

that winter’s streets are chalky canyons
crunching metal, shattering glass in the distance
emerging from the driveway’s treacherous

howling, a nor’easter
piles snow two feet on our outdoor tables and chairs
our metal Japanese lantern resembles Marge Simpson

such a blue sky while we’re digging out,
as if nothing threatening had ever happened

the garden appears most perfect
after a new snow

twelve-foot-long icicles on the house
are a sign of lousy insulation and much heat loss

small tracks cross the yard
birds crowd the feeder

~*~

there’s something delicious
about this snowfall
twilight at home

where we dwell, these days
define our particular winter
its length and intensity, especially

at the edge of melting, we watch
but the first snowdrop blossom is always a surprise

and then it’s covered in two feet of new snow

in March, at last, the white expanse dwindles and
batches of bare ground spread, exposing
the tips of daffodils and crocus

are we set to tackle gardening again?
“I’m not ready for this,” my Lady at the Oven groans

but I’m out to trim the hedges
“getting an early start!” as a passerby quips

Easter, half the yard’s still blanketed in snow

in April, still, one large patch of stubborn snow
extends from the feeder to the berm

picnic table with a block of snow 2-feet deep atop it
and a hole at the center

our personal “ice out” is the first day you can walk diagonally
across the Swamp without stepping on snow

poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson

 

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