Poem: "Field in Snow" by Pamela Harrison
Field in Snow
I stand at the window watching snow fall
on the meadow, bending the barbed canes
of bramble, dried clusters of chokecherry
disdained by birds, the twisted crabapple
caught in wild grape coils. Bleached and buried,
the sway of empty field marks the passing
of an understanding that sustained me
like the very ground. At the point of entering
this ending, of opening to the nothingness
that surrounds, I am afraid. I know how snow falls,
how impersonally it fills the hollows of a field,
how painlessly it passes into water in the spring
or rises warming into mist above the cooler ground.
I am afraid because I understand the worth
of what I leave behind
because it has, like the days and all they contain,
flowed into me, become a part of me,
so that, stepping out now into the whiteness,
into the softly falling, imperturbable snow,
I know only, feel only, the dying of what I was.
Nothing I could name could replace this dying,
nothing beyond the opening, a winter field
in which possibility might one day move
like the deer I sometimes see at dawn,
shadows stepping into darker trees.
Pamela Harrison reads "Field in Snow"