In Which The Sky Conspires

By Peter Halstead

Today I saw the snow begin,
A thin, utilitarian,
               Almost accidental
               Speck, a syllable
Of sleet, a conscious
Parody of Christmas,
               One flake falling straight
               To meet its flattened fate,
Nature’s inexorable lawyer
Rushing through the forest foyer,
               All that grim efficiency
               To trim a needle on a tree;
But imperceptibly the flow
Of microscopic bits of snow,
               Slowly drifting, hard to see,
               Imposes meteorology
On the formerly autumnal hill
Outside our frosted windowsill,
               Like a paintbrush, dabbing light
               Until the yellow leaves turn white,
Adding fuel to the fire
To which all forms of rain aspire:
               That so much frozen air would rush
               To provoke this sudden flurried hush
Is confirmation that the sky
Can focus on a patch of rye
               And roll out winter’s windrow thresher
               (Disguised as barometric pressure)
And harvest all the fields that grow
From a single piece of snow.

December 26th, 2004

Redone Tippet Alley
May 8th, 2016