David W. Parsley Posted November 18, 2011 Share Posted November 18, 2011 1.Wyoming night. Snow fouls purelysight, speech, with a luster of dying.From smokeless abandoned cabins, backinto foothills, forests frailwith loss of breath or flying things,yield like the doe’s last slip into shelterto the will of the blizzard. Acrossthat silent country vast with a senseof shift into memory, townssubmerge in the vanishing landscape,thoughts feebly meshed through impassableroads the man still at work must return by.Streetlights float like shepherd moonsabove the spectacle of burying.From those blistering halos, treesfall house after house, branches tailingat edges of fields the windowed facemay watch for a storm-time, borders swungby singing fence lines, barbed, brilliant.Beyond them the great sheets gatherand pass like the stride of giants,meet and dissolve, blow blindly intojuniper, sage, bluff and buttepiloting stone into air. Fallinglike a wing through light, the manwill return, squinting raw cheeks throughall the miles that he must, numbhands mindful of fire the faithfulturns to, snowblind, from timeto time, feeding with smoke-black fingersflame, piloting wood into shower of sparksgrowing white to the eye, as blownwhite across prairie and tree.2.It was no night for setting memoryon edge. In that room of silentpresences, every knick-knack preserveda flavor of the passer’s fingers, eachface tranquil as God’sin creation. In this lastof meeting places, death’s dreamwas kingdom since that early travelerpassed with watering eyes to the other.The storm is coming! Tonight! He had known,years. The blizzard would be hungry.Two men riding in from the sage (years,too, he had heard their songs:) theywould be wanting some vittles, askingdirections, questions hehad not sought true answers for. It wasno night for memory, but for collectingdark into light. An hour,he had watched the tables, shelvespersevere like dust at the limitof the room’s recollection. The blizzardblew with fresh intensity, shooktime like salt into place. Itwas in the room, the bansheevoice of the wind companionable now,embraceable as fire: the firstsmall query, and already no reply.3.Quiet before light: the nightbird’s flight beneath branches, noshower of snow to disturb the restive.In all that voiceless country, no boughproves responsive to the wing’s brushof duty. It passes without shadowto the edge of stone-broken meadows, failswithout cry above the mottled cloudof their quarrying. Back,back into foothills that tremor followsits echo to tree-blackened poolsspooling ice on the pale naked thighof the woman who wades there. Greattrees thick with frost: absence of lightpasses bough from bough to the ground.Marble shoulders baptize wingless in the cool,rise unglistening from that unmirrored voidfilling brimmed banks, boulders whitelike porcelain unhurried hands will grip sanelyin a home of the valley, drawing darkliquid for the bathing of the dead. first published in Prize Poems of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, 1982 2nd Place NFSPS Grand Prize © 2011 David W. Parsley Parsley Poetry Collection Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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