The first snow
in the city this year, not sticking
to the NY streets
, dancing in the air as a teasing
. Back home where it is grey for some time,
dead leaves raked up or blown across the street
ground is dry, brown and frozen
. I wish I was there,
for this and the whispering of first snow.
Have you heard it, ever? It makes a crisp rustling
sound, so faint it could almost be the air currents
moving near your ear. And everything is at once
magnified and diminished, the cold, the clear,
the bright. Especially at night.
It could be the way
it hits the frozen grass, dusty green blades,
brittle and huddled. It could be the way it hits
the dry earth, frozen and hard. Or maybe the
naked branches, brown and reaching, papery thin.
After that first whispering, when it's piled up -
it almost crackles. Flake by flake, you can hear
it stick and join and blend into marvelous crystal
structures. At once muffling and clarifying every
sound, clear and loud, quiet in the whiteness.
It turns from dry rustling to shush-shush-shush,
the weight of a long cozy night, the warmth of
exertion from shoveling the walk, the peace of a
book and chocolate milk and blanket. It turns
from the first snow into a promise of winter,
muffled and falling and melting.
I sit here in my cubicle, watching the flakes,
dreaming of elsewhere, childhood and snow angels and
fireplaces and all sorts of things I didn't
necessarily have, but I can hear them, nonetheless,
in the whispers outside.