Skeletons stand up from a field
Of snow, stretching to a white horizon,
And shiver in this crackling cold
As Boreas blows implacably.
It is impossible to remake this landscape
Even with a painter’s vision
Or make those skeletons live again—
Though a prophet, perhaps, could do it.
Our memories of picking ripe fruits
Are still fresh, but with frozen edges,
And we wonder how those skeletons
Ever bore flesh, bore fruit, and thrived.
The season of our discontent has come
And frozen the flesh on our bones,
While we gaze through the windows
And remember, foreseeing, the green.
That green fire is buried now,
Hidden deep beneath the snow,
But still it flickers and flashes out
At times—if you happen to catch it.
For this boundless blanket of snow
Is a mask, not the true face of Death,
And the seeds of summer and fall
Are sleeping and dreaming of spring.
Image credit: Paul Gauguin, La neige Rue Carcel (I), from Wikimedia Commons, public domain image.