The snow is falling steadily today. In the gray winter light, puppy and child are both sleeping for the moment, and besides the soft visual static of gently blowing snow, the only motion is the perpetual hop, skitter, and flit of sparrows at the feeder. The dim light belies both the time of day—2pm—and the date—March 18. At this time last year, flowers easily seduced were opening their petals; now a thick white blanket protects them from temptation. It’s just as well; most of the precocious apple blossoms were brutally pinched by frost last year, and the apple yield was miserably low. Today, though, flowers remain a distant memory.
I’m home with my son, who’s in his second day of fever and lethargy. Snow or no snow, he had to stay home from school today. Most Wisconsin residents are bitterly cursing the new inches accumulating on our roadways, but they’ve at least done me the mercy of cancelling my after-school Creative Writing class and sparing me the must-go-to-work/must-care-for-sick-child conundrum.
This day is bestowing me with a few moments of serenity, and I’d like to produce poetry worthy of it: an ode to the timeless quiet of a winter day, a verse that conveys the precious nature of stolen peace. The Muse is dormant and the dog is waking, though, so I’ll recycle a poem that I wrote in high school. It was an assignment to write a rondel for French class; the teacher mercifully allowed us to write it in English. It’s not fine literature, but I like the rhyme scheme:
Smiling winter sky caresses
Drowsy nature, and tree-forms sigh;
They reach for their protector high,
Gentle sky-mother, who presses
Bare bark head to breast, professes
Her love in silent lullaby.
Time passes and summer dresses
The trees in green, and songbirds fly:
Air-infants cradled in turn by
The trees, now whose stick-tresses
Smiling winter sky caresses.
Chaussette is fully awake and ready to play now, so it’s time to leave the keyboard and return to the puppy.