by Mary Scheurer
We forget the warmth of snow, its attentive silence
willing us towards wood fires, a welcoming hearth,
a mother’s beckoning arms; snow kindling a softness
in the eyes: Zhivago’s Lara; flakes settling like hope
in Karenina’s hair, brushed to silk for Vronsky.
It is many years ago; such snowfall as closed school early
sprinkled liberty and swelled the spirit. Drifts of relief.
To cherish its quiet and lack of blemish, walked with us
that three miles trek, aimlessly through mute fantasies
and back homeward to a warm blanket and sweet tea.
Snow is a story-teller. ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’
filled with aunties, uncles, flurries of mischief, laughter.
It is that time the boy Scouts, after midnight mass
came back to flood the house with song, supping sherry,
and the scene tipsied into itself: careless and gay.
It is the once-a-century blizzard that froze transport
had us take out skis to reach the bakery. Turned our eyes
to small birds, fluttering white in frosted branches,
then back through silent rhapsodies of hush. Indoors
dark windows shrugged off shows of down and crystal.
Snow is the soft seal on mother’s grave, one January day
while Father McGarry sang her praise and we recalled
her life. The sky threw down the white carpet, last tribute,
as frank and spotless as she was. Snow spoke with her voice
sprinkling solace, gathering us to her ever-presence.