Wednesday Poetry Break: Surprise Snow Edition

I know my co-workers must think I’m a little crazy for coming in late today, as there’s barely an inch of snow on the ground here. But an hour north, where I live, we have a good 2-3 inches, which completely surprised everyone — including the salt trucks. And when I turned on the news at 5:30 am (yes, that’s what I said) it was nothing but a listing of roads closed due to serious accidents and numerous school delays.

I thought it prudent to wait.

So my day has slipped away quickly, and here I am, with apologies for my poetry fans. All 3 of you out there!

Bright Sun after Heavy Snow

A ledge of ice slides from the eaves,
piercing the crusted drift. Astonishing
how even a little violence
eases the mind.

In this extreme state of light
everything seems flawed: the streaked
pane, the forced bulbs on the sill
that refuse to bloom…A wad of dust
rolls like a desert weed
over the drafty floor.

Again I recall a neighbor’s
small affront — it rises in my mind
like the huge banks of snow along the road:
the plow, passing up and down all day,
pushes them higher and higher…

The shadow of smoke rising from the chimney
moves abruptly over the yard.
The clothesline rises in the wind. One
wooden pin is left, solitary as a finger;
it, too, rises and falls.

Jane Kenyon


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