but it was only thought snow, and nothing
when it began, a thingless veil, a reign
of molecules, so we could overlook
the beauties and hazards of being
burdened and cold. Later the snow pads
and weights the blue spruce––irregular
white platters, meals
of cotton batting, or lakes cut out from a map
of the shades of white,
and even a few little people whose legs
dangle the stems. Snow isn’t common here yet,
no arctic foxes and snowy owls,
but confederacies of snow angels
may appear where the lawns hide.
I would like to make something of the snow’s
nothing, this ephemeral solidity
of water, transparency turned opaque
and crystalline, soul become cold salt,
or add a human to suggest warmth,
relevance, the me or you, but even think her,
and she appears, huddled under the viaduct
two blocks away. The cold has ruddied
her wide-lipped round face––she is bleeding
away through her skin, unwounded,
or her whole self the wound. She tips the flat
pint bottle, square-shouldered, a little body,
its head a mouth she suckles. I’m afraid of her
hurting my eyes.
The fir tree’s black contrasts the snow,
the wings’ saw-tooth look. Imagine tree
and saw combined, a convenience
a connivance bosses might admire
like a surplus woman
who is bleeding herself away into the snow.
I wonder how many wings a fir tree has—
seventy, a hundred?
MARY B. MOORE’s poems are collected in three books and several chapbooks: Dear If, (Orison Books, April 2022); Flicker (Dogfish Head Prize, 2016); and The Book Of Snow (Cleveland State UP, 1997); the chapbooks are Amanda and the Man Soul (Emrys Prize, 2017) and Eating the Light (Sable Books Contest 2016). Her poetry has won awards from NELLE, Terrain, Asheville Poetry Review and Nimrod. Poems appeared lately in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Gettysburg Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Nasty Women Poets Anthology, and Fire & Rain, Eco-Poetry of California. She lives in Huntington WV where she retired from Marshall University.
RYAN RUSIECKI grew up in Westchester County, New York and received his BFA in photography from Bard College in 2020. He currently lives in Kingston, New York where he is pursuing a body of work that investigates the complexities of the recent migration to the Hudson Valley.