Night snow, as light as a floating white whale
turning and drifting over the city.
And in the white-sky morning light
heavy as Moby Dick on the spiral steps
of a hundred thousand Montreal walk-ups.
Now, slide down, fall down, shuffle or wade around, bow boughs
of great trees.
Snow falls light as a word, a breath
yet once fallen, what weight, not to be recalled.
Its purity, it’s white weight truth must be managed.
Hear the muffled roar of the plough
manoeuving and struggling to shift
the soft amorphous stuff
now in the grey-sky morning light with
its city-soiled peaks of frozen slush,
little grey Andes built by desperate morning motorists
shovelling, sweating, cursing, even helping each other
to free their cars from the soft cold blanket of snow.
Snow, following the curve of a railing or the links of a fence
or coldly disguising, obliterating the stones in the cemetery
so that I stumbled, waded my way down the wrong row.
The cold stuff of pious prayer slipping into my boot.
And the crash of icicles pulling away from a second storey balcony.
The mailman, his eye on his footing and on the overhang
thinks it is a good day. . . to look . . . at snow.