Snow on the bank where the Great Blue Heron stood in summer, searching,
like Ungerer's Three Robbers, for victims.
It is cold again this year, as it was during this earlier winter,
on the backs of the Little Union Canal..
Yesterday there were many more ducks in the water than this;
how do they stay warm??? jhh
In my country, there is no one
who had never been photographed.
Being shot in the face is a way of life.
Frying is not so bad as losing
a photograph of the fried one.
If you spot an egg dying on the sidewalk
you are free to take its picture.
Some prefer to place a friend next to it
but who that might be is up to you.
No two people are alike, although they look
exactly the same. Like snowflakes.
My country is a country of snowflakes,
people just pile up to your wonderment
or disgust (whatever you think is OK).
People take a lot of pictures at Christmas.
People place tiny decorated trees on graves.
Snow country, like the novel by Kawabata.
Everyone wants to live here because we have
invisible fences so if a dog leaves the yard
he's snapped right back in.
You can buy garbage bags with the scent of lemons
or wildflowers. Everyone has a choice.
A man was hired to see if spice scented bags
sold well, if the people liked them, and they
did not, so they took them away.
Don't worry if you are thinking
you'd like something different for your children,
for your own unique little snowflakes,
because we have wonderful schooling in privacy
where a child must stare at a glass of milk
three hours, or until its surroundings grow dark,
whichever comes first.
And children are encouraged to draw,
always to draw. Christmas comes on a sleigh.
They get their first camera in a pouch.
The wet polaroid slips into their hand,
a memory from the moment of birth.
Another face is born.
My country grows on the deep freeze door
and my country grows in the snowy night.
But no two countries are alike.
Post Meridian, Carnegie Mellon University Press,
Pittsburgh, PA, 2000, pages 56-57.
I find nothing in my life that I can’t find more of in books.
With the exception of walking on the beach, in the snowy woods, and swimming underwater. That is one of the saddest journal entries I ever made when I was young. --Mary Ruefle
Someone Reading a Book
Is a Sign of Order in the World:
Someone writing a poem that just moves along
and moves along, and moves along,
is a sign of the magic of language,
and of the discovery of interesting sound and meaning
in unlikely juxtapositions.
June Hopper Hymas