Saturday in CinCity

  Getting Through

by Maxine Kumin

I want to apologize

for all the snow falling in

this poem so early in the season.

Falling on the calendar of bad news.

Already we have had snow lucid,

snow surprising, snow bees

and lambswool snow. Already

snows of exaltation have covered

some scars. Larks and the likes

of paisleys went up. But lately the sky

is letting down large-print flakes

of old age. Loving this poor place,

wanting to stay on, we have endured

an elegiac snow of whitest jade,

subdued biographical snows

and public storms, official and profuse.

Even if the world is ending

you can tell it's February

by the architecture of the pastures.

Snow falls on the pregnant mares,

is followed by a thaw, and then

refreezes so that everywhere

their hill upheaves into a glass mountain.

The horses skid, stiff-legged, correct

position, break through the crust

and stand around disconsolate

lipping wisps of hay.

Animals are said to be soulless.

Unable to anticipate.

No mail today.

No newspapers. The phone's dead.

Bombs and grenades, the newly disappeared,

a kidnapped ear, go unrecorded

but the foals flutter inside them

warm wet bags that carry them

eleven months in the dark.

It seems they lie transversely, thick

as logs. The outcome is well known.

If there's an April

in the last frail snow of April

they will knock hard to be born.

please note: photo by I.M. Spadecaller


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