Snowflakes on My Tongue

Snowflakes on my tongue

Snowflakes on my tongue (Photo credit: giraffe_756)

I fear this winter may have ended
and I never consciously captured
on my tongue the essence of its fruit,
the falling snow. Oh, I caught several
windblown facefuls of snowblower mush,
but they taste of two-stroke engine exhaust
and anger. Pure snow, the glistening,
diaphonous jewels that have yet become
a ground-bound part of the landscape
such as I, taste like perfect nothing.

They’re as blank of flavor as they’re
empty of color, their nothingness melting
to shapeless memory in your mouth.
Maybe snow tastes like poetry, though.
Each poem a one-of-a-kind piece
of icy flotsam floating from cloudy thought;
each frozen notion full of facets and edges
only visible by our intimate inspection.
We catch them upon our tongues, they melt
and become part of us in that moment.

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Snow Angels

Snow Angel

Snow Angel (Photo credit: dalechumbley)

The nightmares began in the week before Christmas;
screaming, fearsome trespass into the child’s mind.
The news had infringed with no conscience
and stolen a bit of innocence from the six year old,
waking her from a terror others could not escape.
“I don’t want Santa to come into our house,”
she said one night. “it scares me.”
“You’ll be safe, hon,” her father whispered.

“Mommy and Daddy will protect you,”
her mother said. “And your Guardian Angel, too.”
“Why didn’t their Guardian Angels
protect them?” she asked,
in the direct distillation of thought
only a child can accomplish.
Her father closed his eyes and drew a breath
before telling her.

“Because so many little kids
and their Mommies and Daddies
fear this world more than we used to,
God needed more brave little angels
to help them feel protected.”
As snow fell outside the bedroom window,
the little one lay down with her mother,
satisfied for a bit, sleeping safely in her arms.

Her dad thanked God for her and that
she heard not the door open and close twice.
When she awoke in the morning,
little Emma called into the kitchen,
“Daddy come see, come see.”
There in the new-fallen snow, a score
of snow angels had ringed their blessings
upon a home and a little girl.

I’m sorry if this doesn’t really sound like a poem. I’ve been struggling with these feelings all weekend and I have difficulty expressing such things sometimes except by “writing them out.”  Some folks say I’m some kind of storyteller, but I often lack the emotional capacity to couch thoughts of such horrible things as the Newtown tragedy in words. This piece has helped me gather a few in one place. May all our angels rest in the peace of this season, and all to come.

Seasoning

frozen sunrise

frozen sunrise (Photo credit: Grapfinger)

I awoke this morning,
peeked through the curtains
and saw this house had gotten old
overnight,
its roof gone all salt and pepper,
it’s boards creaking with the cold,
and its chimney steaming some miasma
I’m sure it didn’t yesterday.

The neighborhood’s shoulders wore
some of the fallen silver
and flakes of white, and
the whole tableaux seemed
shrouded in slate-gray clouds
cast in a penumbra
so dark I couldn’t read
that big E from only a few paces.

But then you opened your eyes,
the lids parting a passageway
for a sweet light to escape
the shadows of age, and I saw
in them the reflection of this house,
its roof black and smooth again,
its walls strong and whose windows
I now cast open to call Good Morning.

© Joseph Hesch 2012

The roof really WAS covered in a salt & pepper-like snow this morning. (Unfortunately, no time to take a photo.) My age-obsessed imagination took it from there. 🙂:)