a Grand Rapids snow: 11/24/13

snow 1“A Grand Rapids snow”
mom always called it –
fat, soft flakes
coming down as thick as the fall leaves
still scattered dry and brown
across the freezing ground.

I saw them first on the road
between Boston and Adams streets
cinematic thru my windshield.

I let “Sleigh Ride” play
on the radio, not waiting
for Thanksgiving Day
(as I usually do)
for the haunting bell of the carols
ringing me back to childhood
and Andy Williams singing
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Today I heard it in the grocery
as the flakes began to tumble
in the parking lot
and so I decided
the season has already begun
not on my timetable
ordered so Advent-neat in my mind
but on your time, o God.

Your breath blew the flakes
past the bargain bins
before the mad crush begins
beyond my racing mind
mad with worry and ever out of time
back down thru all the years
the many, many days
most of which I have forgotten
to a time when all was still
and I watched the snow
and gasped at the lights
with untutored delight
and sang the carols
around the piano
which Mom played so brightly.

So it is today
as I stand among the flakes
of a Grand Rapids snow
to no tune, only a dog’s bark
and echoes of Andy Williams.

The flakes fall on my face
and swirl around my mind
each one a fragile memory
half-remembered
just before it melts.

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2 Responses to a Grand Rapids snow: 11/24/13

  1. Gazie says:

    Lovely. Hoping to see more like this.

  2. Carolyn Heines says:

    So very beautiful and touching and a remembrance of the sacred. It has certainly changed how I feel about Christmas music being played before Thanksgiving.

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