Snow that covers us from above


Snow that covers us from above,
Cover us more deeply.
Whiten the city with its houses and churches,
The red house and the yellow house,
The port with its ships.
Cover the Garden House
Where we could never get warm.
There was a fireplace so we learned to build fires.
We had a baby so we walked in the rain.
Cover the fields, cover the trees,
The river beneath us prodding its black stones,
The suffering of which I wasn’t aware.
Cover the house where I grew up in New Jersey,
The basement where I learned how to paint,
To hammer a nail, to cut a silk screen.
The harpsichord I built,
The piano I played,
The attic where I stood alone in the cold
Listening for something, I didn't know what.
I hid a book in the eaves,
I couldn't find it when we moved.
Snow that covers us from above,
Cover us more deeply.
Cover the rooftops,
Cover the sea.
James Longenbach

BAP 2011



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Poem ©2010 James Longenbach, all rights reserved. Used by permission of the author and publisher W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Film ©2012 Motionpoems, Inc., all rights reserved.