I used to look up
at snow coming down,
as if for an explanation, an origin,
but there were no answers,
just a gray cotton blanket
and those wheeling white crystals,
each perfect star
a chance in a million.

Fields of snow,
glinting on a cold clear morning,
mounded here and there
over ordinary things,
turning them into secrets.
Snow so clean and deep and pure
that just gazing at it
returned your innocence.

Snow that hardened to a crust,
ready for a boot to break through.
Ponds that splintered under your skates,
puddles you could crack and bend.

Snow on a roof,
sliding off in a sudden whump,
or melting slowly,
one drop finding another, and another,
falling and freezing and falling again,
turning to daggers
that glistened in the sun,
before plunging themselves
in the drifts below.

as far as you could see,
claiming all,
hugging even
the first daffodils
before shrinking at last
to dirty heaps
along the roads,
against the buildings,
waiting for spring
to carry them off.

Photo by Lutz Koch on / CC BY-NC-ND

Published by

Jean Ryan

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in Lillian, Alabama. Her stories and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She has also published a novel, LOST SISTER. Her short story collections, SURVIVAL SKILLS and LOVERS AND LONERS, are available online. STRANGE COMPANY, a collection of short nature essays, is available in paperback as well as digital and audio editions.

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