Clumps hoodwink the bushes;
a drudgery clings to the tree, muffling
its limbs. She moves unseen.
Her hands and fingerprints crumble
to powdery snow. A windfall fills
her footprints. She uncouples
from all she knows, freezes over.
People look through her –
she’s becoming a ghost. She sleeps
under a crumpled duvet of snow,
clumps shovelled up at the roadside
in the morning. Her voice shatters,
flurries wordlessly through air, separate
and together, like flocks of white birds.
Mute, invisible, she haunts the streets
as if immortal. She remembers the edge
of something, a childhood drawing
that flutters around the blind spot of vision.
She blows her name and the name
of her brother across her palm
into whirlwinds of snow.
She passes the roadside cross
for a fallen mother, the ragged rotten
sodden flowers encrusted in snow.
Tears are glittering snowflakes
that surprise her cheeks. There is stifled music;
a father and daughter whistle an Adagio of snow.
A child’s face glows like a full moon
from a car window, wanting, not wanting, to go. Snow
slips down the pane, slurs the street lamps’ halos.
by Karen Dennison
Published in poetrywivenhoe 2011 and Counting Rain