The Guest

By Peter Halstead

The snow piled up outside this spring
Makes patterns on the decks
That float around like scaffolding—
Just as one expects—

But in fact the hand of ice
That sits down on our chair
Is actually a melted slice
Of what earlier was there,

So although it seems to be
That something’s sitting down,
The seasonal reality
Is that it’s leaving town,

An exoburb defined
By what its neighbors leave behind.

Tippet Alley
March 13th, 1994