Poem: "Light Snow"

Just enough snow fell last night

to emphasize what’s there — nothing
fanciful, no octopi on the spruce boughs
or fungal protuberances in the garden —
just enough to highlight the cables
swooping in unison above the road
and to italicize the branches of the trees
out to their twiggy extremities
so that their complex articulations
might be legible. But what is it
I want to read in them? Just enough
to see what’s there a little more clearly?

Or a little more than that? I don’t know,
but what I see next is the snow
being blown from the trees in sudden
glittering puffs, one after another
of these literal illuminations
that swirl down and vanish,
dazzling, ungraspable.


Jeffrey Harrison ′80CC is the author of five books of poetry, including The Names of Things: New and Selected Poems and Incomplete Knowledge.