Staring out the window this morning
at snow on grass and pine branches--
snow so heavy and wet it has broken off three limbs
that lay close to their trunks, raw ends exposed--
I remember winter mornings when we were small,
my sisters and I. Sharing a bedroom, the three of us
breathing moistly in our sleep,
while gas flames in the fireplace
rippled over asbestos. Waking to windows
frosted with intricate forms,
purer and more beautiful than art.
We stood beside each other in delight.
Then reached out and felt
how deeply the frost was layered on the pane.
Raked our fingernails through it, peeling
furry strands. Reveled in the cold
as it tingled our fingers.
It’s commonplace to remark
on the vulnerability of the young.
But those children in pajamas and nightgowns,
marveling at windows,
seem incomparably less vulnerable, less sad,
than the people we eventually became.
© Tony Russell, 2011
|Photo by Tony Russell|