Poetry / February 2009 (Issue 6)

Two Snow Poems

by Phoebe Tsang

Song for a Commuting Gravedigger

Tethered to track and schedule
the highway rattles past
white fields and hillsides scarred
by trees so thin you can see
right through their ashen bones.

I want to get off the bus and scatter
footprints for snow to swallow later
like signs of rabbit and deer.
I want to be free of time and machines.
But I’m afraid of just being jobless.

Only my eyes will cross the frozen
shoulder into the embrace of
leafless skeletons
to wander bough after bough
through sleeping woods like a homeless ghost.

Wind, Snow and Trees

The snow on the trees at twilight
is the colour of the electric bulb
in an aquarium when
you can't sleep at night
and wander into the hotel lobby;

you notice the cars in the parking lot
under a thin white blanket
and the cold neon sign;
you remember the gnarled blue
fingers of the trees by the roadside,

how the fresh laid snow illuminated
every last twig and straggling leaf
with the quiet gleam of wind-struck
candlelight that shimmers
for a few stolen breaths before it is blown out.

Editors' note: Read a review of Phoebe Tsang's Contents of a Mermaid's Purse by Reid Mitchell here.

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