Amy Watkins – “ A Poem About Snow” – A Poem

A Poem about Snow

The snow in my hand is a dazzle. I let it drop
through my black-gloved fingers like a jewel thief
showering a hideout table with ill-gotten diamonds.
Far from home, I feel larcenous and counterfeit.
The snow does not belong to me, and here
I’ve said it looks like diamonds,
but really I think it looks like broken glass,
like the shattered window of the junked van
we used to play in as kids, kicking the sparkling shards
through the hole in the floorboards, watching
the gleaming drop into the yellow weeds with hardly a sound.
Part of me, even then, expected music, some chiming,
the crystalline ring I’m sure snow has
if only I knew how to play it.

Already I am giving it up. Already I am imagining
what it must be like to face this every day:
the mountains hunching their shoulders into fog
like workers in flannel-lined jackets,
the snow piling up, muddy and treacherous,
the dazzle oppressive as heat waves.
Already I am looking for the ordinary in the exquisite,
the way I found the crack in the smooth stone you gave me
and ran my thumbnail back and forth against it till it split.
I won’t trust the glorious till it’s melting.
that’s how weak I am.