The Forgiveness of Snow
Three days of deep snow.
A pillowy meringue has met each branch,
has danced with the meadow grass,
has floated into each niche, soft and hard,
until today in the final sun
all is brilliant, brilliant.
Walking, there’s an insulated hush
so in the cove, each argument, each compliment,
each complaint and daily praise
is gone now, as if never been.
A forgiveness in this, the starting anew.
Each white pillow says,
“I’m forgetting the car crash,”
“I’m forgetting the toppling of trees,”
"I’m forgetting the soldier’s fire,
and the theft of a village’s water.”
Each six-faceted flake encapsulates
something of those horrors,
something of the looming offensiveness of this life.
“I contain your great grief,” calls the brilliant snow,
“and don’t I make a pearl?”
Over there by my fence-post is some mother’s wailing grief.
Over there in the white-trimmed fir tree
is the diesel exhaust of a thousand semi trucks.
This morning in the quiet, quiet,
I know what forgiveness is.
February 13, 2006