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Snow

Edward Gates
From:   Heart's Cupboard.


        Snow takes on a dreamy, floating quality. The flakes spiral and
turn back on themselves, as if looking for a place to rest. They are
manna falling into the mouths of the unfed, a pointillist's painting
where the outlines of the changing spaces resemble branches
pressed close to the ground.
        The flakes bounce off my jacket with sounds of small pieces
of glass touching in the wind. They have six tiny spokes that
branch out like the limbs of trees. Each flake has the flatness of a
flower pressed between the pages of a book, with length and
width but little depth, as if they hardened too quickly in their
haste to reach the earth.
        In the open, the snow makes a soft powdery sea where the
tops of huge drifts are the crests of waves. It builds around the
edges of my tracks when my feet force it into something hard and
unfamiliar, leaving a trail like rocks that surface on the shore of a
deep sea.
        The limbs of the spruce and fir bend with this weight, finally
rid of a presence that separates them from the earth, the bare
undersides like the pale bellies of fish that feed on the ocean floor.
        Snow concentrates weeks into hours, with enough room
between the loosely packed flakes to keep the cold from freezing
new growth that would open in spring. It reflects the sun that
melts its surface to a hard crust, so that violence or the weight of
time will not destroy what wells up from below.

(THE GUEST TOUCHES ONLY THOSE WHO PREPARE)



Edward Gates' works copyright © to the author.


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