poetry
autumn/winter 2018

Winter in Georgia

by Valerie Smith

Photo: Chuck Huru

              I.

 

First, the snow gently falls,

melts on top the standing blades of grass

and sounds like dew the sky—silent—calls.

 

With all the snow of future, present, past,

and all the snow Almighty has in store,

heaven knows how long the storm will last.

 

With noses pressed, we watch for more and more.

Our expectation rises white and round

until at last, we tumble out the door.

 

The mailbox, bush, and tree stump we have found

covered in wet packable snow

to aim at enemies newly found.

 

 

                II.

 

Bitter winds whip and rack the window pane,

a winter song with lyrics icy and profane.

Inside we huddle, wrapped in our domain.

 

Snow piles on the fence as frosty cones,

brittle branches bend and snap like bones,

inside fire beats the wind and moans.

 

All white, all still, all frozen—we wish—like time,

to see it all at once, the snow world shine.

Ah, but we are warm, like fire divine.

 

 

               III.

 

While winter still, I wonder

when spring will spring forth fonder

colors where we’ll wander

outdoors to breathe and play.

 

While cozy sleep and slumber

calls all to blankets under,

we wait the cold, cold tundra

to melt in spring’s new day.

 

A long, long wait we’re waiting,

feign patience, though it’s baiting

this season’s slow march grating

so halts our busy way.

 

But hear the North Wind laughing

with each storm cloud amassing

blows ice and snow in passing

and holds our door at bay.

 

Valerie Smith is a poet and creative nonfiction writer currently completing her PhD in English at Georgia State University. Her poems have appeared in South85, BlazeVOX15 and Exit 271: Your Georgia Writers Resource. In 2017, her poem "Back to Alabama" was selected for publication in Auburn Avenue's Autumn/Winter 2017 issue. 

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