First snow

The heavier snow was supposed to fall north of us.  We were to get just a light dusting. The long mild November had managed to keep the idea of winter at bay. Only a week or so ago the oaks and beeches were still golden, and moths fluttered against the windows at night.  It seemed almost possible to believe that the unseasonal warmth might last forever. But then the snow began to fall, and this magical thinking was slowly buried under the inches that kept accumulating.  How is it that, year after year, the first real snow comes as a surprise?  Surely, we should be used by now to waking up one morning and finding that the world has turned white overnight.  But even our snowplow guy seemed caught off guard: “Can you believe this?” he asked, as our shared new reality settled in. Then he backed up, made another pass, and, metal scraping against gravel, careened back down the drive.

by Maggie Dietz

Show’s over, folks. And didn’t October do
A bang-up job? Crisp breezes, full-throated cries
Of migrating geese, low-floating coral moon.

Nothing left but fool’s gold in the trees.
Did I love it enough, the full-throttle foliage,
While it lasted? Was I dazzled? The bees

Have up and quit their last-ditch flights of forage
And gone to shiver in their winter clusters.
Field mice hit the barns, big squirrels gorge

On busted chestnuts. A sky like hardened plaster
Hovers. The pasty river, its next of kin,
Coughs up reed grass fat as feather dusters.

Even the swarms of kids have given in
To winter’s big excuse, boxed-in allure:
TVs ricochet light behind pulled curtains.

The days throw up a closed sign around four.
The hapless customer who’d wanted something
Arrives to find lights out, a bolted door.

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18 Responses to First snow

  1. Cheryl Sullivan says:

    Beautiful. I live in Maine and really like winter (although autumn is my favorite.) This was a special poem capturing the bitter-sweetness of November.

  2. Barry Littmann says:

    But it is pretty. We had some snow too, a few miles south of you. Maybe that will be all
    we get this year. One positive note… in a few weeks the days will be getting longer.

  3. Phyllis says:

    Wow! What a wintry show! Snuggle in and sip some cocoa for us. Great poem too. =p.

  4. Patricia Markert says:

    You have captured the transition from late autumn to early winter perfectly.

  5. Beata M Newman Scarpulla says:

    I love it, all that snow is so exciting to me, a city dweller.

    And the poem is so right on. I enjoyed it immensely.

    Thanks so much.


  6. Lorraine Tinger says:

    Thank you, Liza.

    I especially love the line: did I love it enough…. .while it lasted. So true.

  7. Annette Shear says:

    coming back from “sunny Fla” where the temp hovered at 70…beautiful photo & sweet poem..I love the seasonal change as soon as I fly out of Tampa!!!


  8. Anders Gyllenhaal says:

    Having just moved to below the Mason-Dixon line once again, we don’t have much hope of seeing snow anytime soon. It makes it all the more delightful to see it falling in one of our favorite places. Wish we were there. Kinda.

  9. Gwen Rhodes says:

    Beautiful Liza, I love waiting for your work to show up in my inbox. Sitting here by our fire watching the last gasp of the sunset through the front door and across the way. Every night seems to outdo the night before
    Loving these last days of fall before winter really hits

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