Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nary a flake of snow yet, but school has already been canceled, and there is much jubilation in my household. Today was supposed to be the poodle's Day of Beauty, but apparently she gets a reprieve-from-the-groomer snow day as well. We'll see how the piano lesson transpires. I suspect it, too, will be canned, and from beginning to end this will be a hanging-around-the-house-eating-Tom's-leftover-birthday-cake festival of sloth--at least among the younger set.

Meanwhile, I will be editing, and Tom will be in the shop making frames. No snow days for the self-employed.

[Looking back at this letter, I see that I have used an unconscionable number of hyphens, but I've decided not to care.]

Here's a snow poem, a very old poem . . . dedicated to the two little boys who metamorphosed into the gangly, incipiently mustached, sloppy-haired darlings who will be hogging the couches today. Nonetheless, we all still seem to be lingering on the brink of the same dark winter hill.

Night Sledding

Dawn Potter

Stealthy as an owl, and more silent,
the trail kneels before us, our mystery.
Now we are the breath of the world,

the moving life. Our boots skirl
a brave cry. Around us, vague
snow feathers the black air, a whisper,

a sweet, uncertain kiss.
The trees of the forest tender their bare hands.
And beyond them, the white hill opens,

magic lantern of night.
Shouting, you run forward
and hurl yourselves onto your sleds:

two thumps, the hiss of flight: and you are gone.
A swift weight presses on the earth.
I feel the prickings of fear.

In the pines, a small wind quivers.
The owl shakes out her soft wings.

[from Boy Land & Other Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2004)]


charlottegordon said...

skirl, tender as a verb! festival of sloth.

It always does me good to read you.

Maureen said...

Lovely poem.