Winter Poem

Cold Afternoon

snowfall makes no noise,
falls as forgetting falls,
flake after flake.

~~ Miguel de Unamuno, “The Snowfall Is So Silent,” as translated by Robert Bly

We imagine ourselves atmospheric,
waiting for a thick covering of snow
that we know will come.
I build a fire.

We blanket ourselves before it,
fill our space with warmth –
these rooms from which we will see
white flakes fall from the gray sky

through the cold glass of windows
shut tight against the Kansas wind
that seems to seep, still, through
cracks and seams around frames, under doors.

It is like this in winter.
It is like this when skin
shivers at the touch of air
colder than water frozen in the ground.

We settle in, adjust to walls familiar
and worn, to furniture that holds our shape,
to the warmth of our blanketed bodies.
The tea kettle whistles,

steams the windows. Outside,
we could see our breath and imagine
ourselves as storm clouds
shedding snow crystals over the stubbled plains,

as snow clinging to the bare branches of maples,
to the needles and cones of pines,
coating browning lawns, covering
the sidewalks and the streets.

We imagine the quiet and imagine the snow,
imagine a day spent bundled up
in the warmth of each other,
hastening that which we know will come.

© 2010, Shawn Pavey. All rights reserved

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