First Snow*

The dogs and I venture into an alien landscape,
Lapland, Siberia, the Martian surface, new snow
like frozen ashes, like dead skin flaking from
the god of all things cold and forbidding.

Those twenty centuries passed in the shtetls
on the Russian steppes, in the ghettos of Krakow,
Smolensk, L’vav, were nary enough time to
accustom my blood to profound absence of light.

I crave sunshine, orange juice, olive groves, warm
sand and blue water, and the company of dark-
complected souls who collect the sun’s rays
and reflect them in warm and lively conversation.

On this third day of November, when my world
has turned from green to white, all color drained
like blood from a corpse, I feel like a car spinning
on an icy grade, skidding toward the ditch.


*This poem appears in my book Memories of When Were Birds, on sale here.


About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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8 Responses to First Snow*

  1. brian miller says:

    ah i know just the feeling…i love autumn though, it makes me feel alive among all the dead…soon enough i will crave that beach and the bronzing, when the ice is clinging to my nose…

  2. Morgan says:

    I do love this….wonderfully expressed. aaaahhhhhhhhhh!!

  3. I too crave olives and sun about now–lovely, lovely write!

  4. gila_mon says:

    “god of all things cold and forbidding” — very nice.

  5. What a twist in those last two stanzas. I enjoyed the momentary dip into the clouds…only to be brought back down for the finale.

  6. ayala says:

    A cool piece ! 🙂

  7. Tony Maude says:

    A craving for warmth and sunshine is something we share; thankfully winter-sun holidays aren’t too expensive (yet). My only quibble is with Lvav; I know of Lvov/Lviv in Ukraine, but not anywhere called L’vav

  8. shanyns says:

    Ah that sure sounds like winter, feels like it too! Well done.

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