Wind Chill

The door of winter
is frozen shut,

and like the bodies
of long extinct animals, cars

lie abandoned wherever
the cold road has taken them.

How ceremonious snow is,
with what quiet severity

it turns even death to a formal
arrangement.

Alone at my window, I listen
to the wind,

to the small leaves clicking
in their coffins of ice.


White Christmas

My folks think I'm a serving maid
Each time I visit home;
They do not dream I ply a trade
As old as Greece or Rome;
For if they found I'd fouled their name
And was not white as snow,
I'm sure that they would die of shame . . .
Please, God, they'll never know.

I clean the paint from off my face,
In sober black I dress;
Of coquetry I leave no trace
To give them vague distress;
And though it causes me a pang
To play such sorry tricks,
About my neck I meekly hang
A silver crufix.


While The Bannock Bakes

Light up your pipe again, old chum, and sit awhile with me;
I've got to watch the bannock bake -- how restful is the air!
You'd little think that we were somewhere north of Sixty-three,
Though where I don't exactly know, and don't precisely care.
The man-size mountains palisade us round on every side;
The river is a-flop with fish, and ripples silver-clear;
The midnight sunshine brims yon cleft -- we think it's the Divide;
We'll get there in a month, maybe, or maybe in a year.


Where I have lost, I softer tread

104

Where I have lost, I softer tread—
I sow sweet flower from garden bed—
I pause above that vanished head
And mourn.

Whom I have lost, I pious guard
From accent harsh, or ruthless word—
Feeling as if their pillow heard,
Though stone!

When I have lost, you'll know by this—
A Bonnet black—A dusk surplice—
A little tremor in my voice
Like this!

Why, I have lost, the people know
Who dressed in flocks of purest snow
Went home a century ago


Whene'er I See Those Smiling Eyes

Whene'er I see those smiling eyes,
So full of hope, and joy, and light,
As if no cloud could ever rise,
To dim a heaven so purely bright --
I sigh to think how soon that brow
In grief may lose its every ray,
And that light heart, so joyous now,
Almost forget it once was gay.

For time will come with all its blights,
The ruin'd hope, the friend unkind,
And love, that leaves, where'er it lights,
A chill'd or burning heart behind:
While youth, that now like snow appears,


Will Consider Situation

There here are words of radical advice for a young man looking for a job;
Young man, be a snob.
Yes, if you are in search of arguments against starting at the bottom,
Why I've gottem.
Let the personnel managers differ;
It,s obvious that you will get on faster at the top than at the bottom because
there are more people at the bottom than at the top so naturally the competition
at the bottom is stiffer.
If you need any further proof that my theory works
Well, nobody can deny that presidents get paid more than vice-presidents and


White Cockatoos

Now the autumn maize is growing,
Now the corn-cob fills,
Where the Little River flowing
Winds among the hills.
Over mountain peaks outlying
Clear against the blue
Comes a scout in silence flying,
One white cockatoo.
Back he goes to where the meeting
Waits among the trees.
Says, "The corn is fit for eating;
Hurry, if you please."
Skirmishers, their line extendiing,
Shout the joyful news;
Down they drop like snow descending,
Clouds of cockatoos.


Where's My Billy Goat Gone To

'Twas a birthday gift Miss Posie had
When she was nine, and twenty:
Not of gold -- Oh, no! -- nor gem, nor pearl,
Tho' he who gave had plenty.
'Twas a gift she took so much to heart,
Her neighbors thought her silly;
'Twas a B-A-B-Y (Baby) Goat,
A snow-white Baby Billy!
Pretty little Billy, Billy -- Oh!
Where's my Billy Goat gone to?

Take my home! Take my farm!
Yes, me too (if you want to);
But tell me! tell me!
Where's my Billy Goat gone to?
Pretty little Billy, Billy -- Oh!


Where We Live Now

1

We live here because the houses
are clean, the lawns run
right to the street

and the streets run away.
No one walks here.
No one wakens at night or dies.

The cars sit open-eyed
in the driveways.
The lights are on all day.

2

At home forever, she has removed
her long foreign names
that stained her face like hair.

She smiles at you, and you think
tears will start from the corners
of her mouth. Such a look


Whenever I Go There

Whenever I go there everything is changed

The stamps on the bandages the titles
Of the professors of water

The portrait of Glare the reasons for
The white mourning

In new rocks new insects are sitting
With the lights off
And once more I remember that the beginning

Is broken

No wonder the addresses are torn

To which I make my way eating the silence of animals
Offering snow to the darkness

Today belongs to few and tomorrow to no one


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