"Now that Snow is Falling"

O the sky shall crack with laughter

now that snow is falling,

and all small timid things shall scent

frozen petals of white and feel

knifeblades of cold sink into fur;

yes, the bear shall suck his toes,

and ants will sleep.

If the sun, coming slowly after,

warms flies from frozen lethargy

to crawl again upon window panes,

and you and I, hand in hand,

shall make tracks in the snow,

woolen gloves, and necks bound warmly

against knifeblades of cold, and we

shall say: O most surely is the snow

beautiful, and ask, what can we say

now that snow is falling, and all

the world is white, and clean, and beautiful,

what can we say but that snow is beautiful,

and snow tingles the sleepy blood

into new surging awareness -- what can

we say if the sky is most suddenly rent

with laughter, trees crack with mirth,

and sparrows chatter in derision, as

a man walks by us clad thinly, shivering,

hungry, vainly searching for bread,

a job, and warm fires; what can we say,

if such a man passes us bowed against

the wind, and another, and yet more,

until he is as a multitude, a sad parade

of hungry, cold, vague faces? What can we

say, now that snow is falling?