Mid-Day Poem, January 22, 2016

Upon waking I hear nothing
No swish of cars along the road
Nothing of the birds’ dawn chorus
Through the window I see that the world has turned white
And I know that this carpet of snow
Deep now and deepening still
Has stopped the traffic and sent the birds to their hiding places
And absorbs every sound that nature or man might otherwise make
Anxious for the moments of passing beauty
This new grace will give
I pull on boots and gloves
And heard for the forest
Where the snow pellets tick against the brittle branches
Of Hickory, Ash and Oak

In the new snow, the game trails, invisible in summer
Are well-defined
Little aisles, sloping and turning in ways not contemplated
Or measured by man
Catch the snow in such a way
That they are whiter than what surrounds them
There along such a trail I see the sharp-edged tracks of some lone deer
And here on a log the fine-clawed footprints of some raccoon or opossum
I wade down another knoll and the snow in the path is ruffled and scattered
Where some bird has landed and then taken flight

I have seen or heard nothing of these creatures
But this new snow and their marks in it tell me they were active here
Only moments before I walked
This is a picture of consciousness and perception
We see so little of what happens in this world
Even that which is near around us.

Copyright 2016

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