Childhood Snow

Like a boy again, I watch falling snow
with memories of the first time I saw it
falling, thrilled as if God had ordered 
the spectacle just for me, awed 
with wonder and questions.

There is no wind. Large flakes fall
almost vertically and concentration, 
the dormant world of winter disappearing 
in whiteness and stillness, slipping into 
a numbing sleep.

The afternoon light dims, thickens 
to gradual darkness. Is this how it
will be when dying? Diminishment, 
things vanishing, receding to an 
unreachable horizon, a far-off emptiness?

So beautiful a sight 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 off from our weaknesses, 
which we sometimes hear growing
in us, just before it overtakes us, 
then clamps its open jaws on us 
and brings 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, captive, 
imprisoned by hostile walls, under the stern 
watch of its surveillance; the world outside 
no better, disfigured into a tragic figure, 
submissive, mute, no longer knowing itself.

And then the clouds will break, thin out
and the first gashes of blue will appear 
in the sky 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 the sharp light.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 1/4/2018 7:52:00 PM
Amazing and deep. Isn’t it wonderful to feel so many intense emotions over something that others would consider simple?
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Date: 1/4/2018 5:38:00 PM
wow, the snow obviously conjures up a whole world of feelings for you, maurice! when i'm inside looking out at the snow, i feel snug and warm and protected with none of the negatives you've described (although i can see how it can be viewed that way). that said, your poem is beautifully written and wonderfully descriptive...
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