Summer Houses in Winter
Ice is the past tense of water,
is verb condensed to noun, pure speed
contracted to a stasis of glitter,
a brief foam frozen in marble beads,
the memories that canít recede.
It is the practice of winter habits,
of hibernating inhabitants
hoarding the landscape, seeds and nuts,
while the wind scratches, huffs and pants,
and all the leaves are a frosty mint.
The maples creak, seeming to say,
Be hard, be cold in what you know.
The dark pines darken and agree;
clutching their needles, they wonít bow.
The gables on all the houses glow;
icicles stretch like falling figures,
sleek, seasonal bodies of Icarus,
translucence where the sunlight staggers,
and sand, though it slides and slides, canít pass
from the top half of the hourglass.
Michael T. Young
Transcriptions of Daylight, Rattapallax Press,
© 2000; originally printed in Pivot.
permission of the author.