How Snow Arrives

 Michael Collier


The pine trees stood without snow,

though snow was in the air,

a day or two away,

forming in the place where singing forms the air.


"Mother?" is what I heard my mother say

said in such a way she knew her mother

didn't know her, as if they stood

beneath the trees and breathed the singing air.


How frail the weather when its face

is blank or, startled, turns to find

its startled self in a child's voice,

flake by flake of the arriving snow.


"Mother?" is what I say, as if

I didn't know her, standing blank

and startled where she stands beneath

the trees among the singing air.