Cold to the Christmas bluster,
which I believed “all bloated commerce,”
I morning-gazed not half-awake
out the low distorting window panes
scarcely secured in the rotting casements
of this old Sears catalog bungalow.
I was careless of the scene I watched.
It spoke, I thought, a dreary death—
aloft, monotonous cottony white,
below, twig-littered lifeless brown—
before the impending pinch,
a snow-portentous silent stillness
in a maddeningly quiescent landscape.
A thumb of silvery fur ensnared
my visual stupor: it was a mouse
scooting across the perilous ground
that lay between the rustic lean-tos
of brittle nut-brown maple leaves.
Image-gripped, but how to name it,
this will to live in little things?
Upon such monumental nerve
we build and break our wage.
Wholly unaware of me with cup
of tepid tea, well-fed antagonist
needled toward wonderment
by the pertinacious gathering
of this tiny attic resident, who,
apropos my fancy, went about
his fretful setting up of store
while seeming to mutter under
his breath, “a big storm’s coming!”
He was right. Come midnight
and the ribboned pine wreaths
hung upon the wooden doors,
this artless morning theater
was dressed foot-high in drifts
of blue-tinged starlit snow.
Copyright © Jennifer Moxley
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.