morning poem, February 9, 2016

The first snow came last night

I looked out on it before dawn

The light, fine dust of it

Cradled in the grass on the lawn


And the first glimpse of it carried me away

Like the scent of woodsmoke

From some mountain chimney

That floats on the evening breeze

Hinting of another life

Or that first phrase from some jazz standard

From the nineteen-forties

That you hear just as you turn the radio dial

What was that song? And you can’t get the station back

And you strain not to forget those few notes you heard

And scan memory for the rest of it

And think of lives and romances

(Women who slow-danced to that tune. Their men who did their bit)

That are nowhere now but in photographs

In dusty scrapbooks.


And the tall girl with sandy hair

That you met at summer camp

How many years ago

What was her name.


The first snow reminds of those days

When closed windows fogged up

From steam from the pots on the stove

Mother was so young then

And our childish thoughts

Went for the first time to Christmas.


Look at the new snow in the grass

The light powder

Look quickly; it will be gone by noon.


Copyright 2016

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