Retreating Snow

Like an old man dragging his long white hair
out of the lawn, back toward the forest’s shade,
the snow retreats, cornered, and well-aware
of time that’s up and warmth it can’t evade…

Young blonde Apollo bays this crumbling foe
and inch by inch reclaims the tawny grass;
and while there is a time for fresh-white snow,
one does exclaim: “At last! At last! At last!”

His Palomino team touch on the ground
and pull their pony-cart over the fields
spreading their burlap-color all around;
tan Phoebus*, with his long-bow that he wields,
steals back the landscape, conquers the old snow,
which soon enough will have nowhere to go.

*another name for Apollo, the Greek sun god.

 

A Vision

I huddled up against a frozen tree.
A piebald deer within the dark’ning wood,
in leaves of laurel black with shading, stood
broadside and still with clear regality.

With weird-white pelt obscured against the snow,
it lifted up its crown of thorny horn
and looked at me without the blackest scorn
I did deserve; for I was ’bout to blow

a hole into its flank before I’d seen
that it was not just snow that made it white.
Like a vision I saw what could have been;

what Thomas saw when that side wound had bloomed.
“No one can touch me. It wouldn’t be right,”
it said, I think, or I at least assumed.

 

Reid McGrath is a poet living in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Featured Image: “Off the Greenland Coast under the Midnight Sun” by William J. Bradford (1823-1892).

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