Like a boy again, I watch the snow
with memories of the first time I saw it
falling, thrilled as if God had ordered
the spectacle just for me.
With no wind, large flakes fall vertically,
the dormant world of winter turning to a
white stillness and numbing sleep.
The afternoon light dims, thickens to
a gradual darkness. Is this how it will be
when dying, I ask myself? My world
diminishing, vanishing, receding
to a far-off depth of emptiness?
So beautiful is falling snow,
why does it remind me of dying, death,
nothingness? It is like the evil we
cannot justify, the beast that stalks
within us hungry, whose heart pounds
within our own, whose scent mingles
with ours, the beast whose approach
is never far from our weaknesses,
which we sometimes hear growling
in us, just before it overtakes us,
its jaws clamped and bringing us down,
lapping the blood of our lives until
we are bleached white like hard bread.
In the morning I will look at the snow
as I do now. The scene will engender
unsettling states of mind. Whiteness,
like darkness, when all consuming,
becomes an omnipresence as menacing
as fear. I will think myself a hostage
imprisoned by hostile walls, under
surveillance; the world outside disfigured,
submissive, mute, no longer knowing itself.
And then the clouds will break, thin out
and the first gashes of blue will appear
like a torn garment, and the sun will pierce
through and arch over us with its
sovereign smile, and snow will fall piecemeal
from trees and branches like forgiven
transgressions, and I will walk out from
these walls as from a tomb into sharp light.
Copyright © Maurice Rigoler | Year Posted 2021
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