First Snowfall*

 

When first snow falls

where wild flowers once were

soft like love lace

that quiets the left leaves,

and cold like a folding glove

caresses the stillness tight,

words walk away somewhere.

 

And yet there is a breathing

beneath the skin of earth

with footfalls firm and fresh -

the day face washed and waiting,

the arching squirrel tail,

the daring dip of bird wings

through avenues of space -

 

these soundings of a silence

pry loose the palms of hope

that stain the air indelibly

before the eye of dawn awakes.

 

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*Accepted The Aurorean (12/99).