City of Snow

Photo by Gerry Lauzon

Photo by Gerry Lauzon

(Montreal)

The city rides a cobalt river, glints
warning of turmoil and perpetual winter

from its extinct volcano perch
excels at mighty blizzard depths
and flake lace tablecloths, at treacherous
dustings over ice and white swirling columns,
blinding and same as those which hoodwinked Champlain
in the time of beaver skin trades

During dark months, softly overnight,
snow arrives, redecorates,
frosted slum becomes morning wedding cake,
grass-roofs-trees-streets wear one white sugar coat

When citizens awake they tromp
through scenes as monochrome
as old Brownie prints,
and kids build over-their-heads forts
while fathers dig lanes
from homes to carports

Soft layers land light, impartial, on assassins,
on children, and on the stone walls of Saint Sulpice—
cloak spite, conceal divisions, clean filth,
rebirth this city

Big snows silence the city—
a welcome silence, so even birds
know to be quiet—
usher with flake upon flake
a hush for the city, my city,
riding the cobalt river

a hush for the island of storm

I sit and think of snow

Filed under Poetry

Pamela Hobart Carter loves Seattle as much for its water and mountains as for its bustle and creativity. She explores the Emerald City daily while walking her dog. Carter used to be a teacher who wrote on the side. Now she is a writer who teaches on the side.