Snow White

I dreamt I woke in winter—
even the river
silent, its tongue caught mid-
sentence, like mine
when someone looks at me
too closely. It had been years

since I understood winter
so well I knew it to be inside
my own bone-cage, since I had
smelled that kind of white.

White of the frozen rabbit
my spaniel dragged in from the back
yard, white of horse-breath in the barn,
white of birds so desperate
for seed they pretend colorlessness—

except the cardinal, drop of heat,
too neat to be blood, too brave
to be symbol. I woke in winter

and almost-knew what I had always
almost-known, back in those dark
five o’clock walks home for dinner:

something about loneliness living
in the well of the throat, something
about fur and burrowing
and black eyes
waiting for the thaw.

Katherine Riegel is the author of Letters to Colin Firth and two other books of poetry. She is also an editor, essayist, and meditator.

Comments

  1. “something about loneliness living
    in the well of the throat, something
    about fur and burrowing
    and black eyes
    waiting for the thaw.”

    I enjoyed the whole poem but the last stanza was very moving. It doesn’t allow the emotions to hibernate, that’s for sure!

  2. Absolutely beautiful. Vunerability diced and under the microscope.
    ” Black eyes waiting for the thaw”
    will have me looking at the Easter bunny differently forevermore.
    Congratulations.

  3. something about loneliness living
    in the well of the throat, something
    about fur and burrowing
    and black eyes
    waiting for the thaw.

    your writing melted my thoughts!! soulful!

  4. This is truly gorgeous. Thank you, Katherine!

  5. Your. Poem spoke to me of hidden winter. The side so often unseen. I enjoy ed it thoroughly

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