Snowstorm on White Canvas
Craig W. Steele
Aging is not lost youth but a new
stage of opportunity and strength.
-- Betty Friedan
Six more inches of snow
smothered the ground at daybreak.
Parachutes billowed all morning from
fleets of icebound clouds,
not slackening until mid-afternoon.
Frozen ground groaned under four-foot drifts of
velvety dollops of frostbrood
compacted by a raging wind.
Maples, oaks and hickories staggered
under glacial burdens
etching the undersides of limbs against
their upper limelight and the lowering,
dull curtain of gray-flannel skies.
Snowfall ceased just before dusk.
An evening stroll over oft-traveled
ways led me to new old sights:
Withered stem-clusters of Queen Anneís lace
blossomed like bolls of fleecy cotton;
weathered-gray dross of summer thistles
sprouted prickly floes of ice-crystal art;
fence posts donned helmets and floated
like astronauts tethered together
exploring frigid outer space; from
sturdy stalks of goldenrods sprang
forests of reed-thin alabaster trunks; and
white-mantled firs and hemlocks
bowed low their ivory tusks, like herds
of woolly mammoths resurrected from an Ice Age sleep.
Now I see how it might seem I was ungrateful
for the clock that made my world a snowy scene,
until I realized that winter isnít simply summer lost.