Table of Contents - Vol. VII, No. 4
Nanci Roth Natale
When it snows, deep and white, life shows us
What we don’t see till we pause for the storm.
Coyote, silent and solitary, bushy tail and silvery fur
Shimmering under the 2 AM moonlight.
Barely denting the snow. Squirrels in pairs
Scampering across the ice frosted snow
Frolic with full bellies after raiding bird feeders.
Birds aligned on the top rail of the split rail fence,
Feet leaving stick figure impressions
In the snow, 8 inches deep on the posts.
Sparrows, round little bodies usually invisible
Until the snow backlights them hopping
Here and there for birdseed squirrels have tipped
From feeder to ground; wood doves, ground feeders,
Munching unharmed alongside finches and
Blue jays, a scarlet flash of red, cardinals
On the pure white, going to and fro to
Bird feeder and fence. Late afternoon sun,
Dancing in orange purple and gold array
On the white landscape; hawks land on broken trees
Waiting and watching for mole or chipmunk
Unluckily racing to cover, not quick enough,
As they swoop, grand brown wings spread 5 feet wide
Revealing speckled chest it swoops, strong talons
Catching dinner it carries back into the deep of the woods
Where life starts and ends, sometimes invisible and
Sometimes revealed by a blanket of snow 18 inches deep.
We lost power for three days. No heat.
No cooking. No light. No music.
We dragged the mattress from upstairs
Down to the fireplace, the flames
Toasty, wood burning smell a comfort,
Two dogs at our feet warming toes,
My new husband and I enjoying
The companionship of each other
And the dogs, in 3 freezing
Cold dark nights in 1973. Going out
Just to eat at Victoria Station,
The newly opened steak house
With its own generator, the only
Open place in town. Steaks, salad
Heat, light, and martini’s.
My husband and I sitting
Talking as newlyweds will do.
The ice storm and the years passed,
Alas the marriage and the steakhouse
Did too, one to indifference, one
To the economy; but fondly
I sit in front of the same fireplace
Enjoying the comfort of its warmth
And light, in the house I now own,
Suffering through another ice storm,
37 years later, my dog, my cat and me.
© Nanci Roth Natale