A week for writers and lit lovers

Saturday, December 14, 2013

When I Looked Up a poem by Sharon Irvine


When I Looked Up
The scene belonged in a Lampman poem:

unfocused lavender hills,
the lake, silvered by winter vapour,  
a still white disc,
the reassuring crunch of snow under my boot.
Cedar lace against the dazzle of snow;
the branch broken in my hand,
the pungent odour of northern bush released
a slipstream of memory: canoes, the quavering solo of the loon,
snapping red pine fires, the endless light shows against black velvet,
the rough touch of spruce, the silky fragility of birch.
And always the rocks, unyielding permanence,
founding us,
in place
 in memory.
When I looked up,
each branch of the birch was etched against the sky;
along each branch a ghostly shadow
of infinitely delicate snow feathers
like arrows in a quiver.
Over all, the benediction of stillness.


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