The Novice

I lift the blind and
there it is —  as silent as a forgotten
dream — the snow.

This, perhaps, the millionth time I lift my pen to see,
and hunt the words.

The land lifts behind our house as though
a bowl:
    wooded, tooth-picked with slim gray trees.
A mystery of whites,
    here, the ground, there the sky,
    but where they have their assignation, is lost
    in trees, and snow.
Each new fall is like a marriage: commonplace and extraordinary.

Nothing moves. Even the topmost branches hold still, with
their white shadows hugged close.

Forgive me, snow and sky and trees, that I must nail
down this moment. Scratching, always scratching
this itch that will not cease.

Forgive me, too, ancient priesthood, wordsmiths who have and will
bless our language with your arts.
In them, through them, with them is rekindled the love of the creator
for the work.

Forgive me, an old novice. You will know I have no choice
but to claim the itch — and these words —
as the wonder right of all who stand in awe,
and parse perfection with a pen.

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