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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

STILL LIFE

by Sharon Irvine

Layers of delicate snow pastry
curve over the eaves
defying wind and gravity
inviting a caress,
like the curve from waist to thigh.
The air bites at exposed flesh.
Trees snap and crack
in the clean cold
Tops etch into the azure sky.

Spruce and balsam lean drunkenly
with the weight of uneven clumps:
Dairy Queen nostalgia trapped in branchy nets.

The picnic table stands evenly loafed,
waiting for a winter gaggle of children
to mitten sculpt.

By the lake,
a whirlwind
vacuums the smooth crystals of drifts,
chases the evening veil of mist and light.

Above
two ravens flap angrily in a jack pine,
sending a shower of snow
sifting through the branches.

Beyond the lake,
the upper reaches of jagged pines,
silvered and ghostly,
waiting
to be set free by the sun.

The tang of smoke, acrid and musty,
rides on the cutting edge,
of a northern wind
that smoothes and shapes
the white winter clay.

This singular landscape,
Parts
but whole.

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