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Childhood Snow

I 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. II 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. III 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. IV 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 © | Year Posted 2021

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Date: 11/8/2021 3:53:00 PM
Maurice, I love the way you structured this excellent poem like an ode. Nice work!
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Date: 11/8/2021 8:30:00 AM
Your visual of snow makes me think of my contrast with Plath’s “Tulips.” For my like of both tulips and snow, there are others who see something entirely different. I love that we are all different and I can walk with you through your poetic woe.
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