Light of snow falling

Tess Ashton

18 June 2016

for Olivia in Calgary

We tumble out the basement door
eyes dance
warm and low from the downstairs porch
to the distance

the snow’s laid out on the pond
on the banks and on the grasses
on the circle of still houses
and tender birches

the sky is vast and blue
ice drifting through

you draw pink and orange spring flowers
kneeling on the concrete slab
I experiment with charcoal
sit at the cold glass table

efforts with banks and far houses 
collapse in the brilliance of the light
on the snowy paper

the wire fence
comes out largest
suffocating the pale grasses
and lonely bird-shelter
in the branches

leave you all for a tall retreat house
in the Mission District
Sisters flow in the Spirit
by the Elbow River

when you and mum visit there’s a miracle
a snowshoe hare, cat and blackbird
sit in a circle
near the Peace sculpture

I’d found a book on my bed
St Francis
waiting to be read

held me tight in the days and nights
‘the things that happen in this old house’
Sister said

yesterday white chrysanthemums
explosions on a local flower trolley
His love like light of snow falling

at church a young woman
has painted the Lord 
walking hand in hand with a girl
the path is cool under high trees
leaves on fire

today your crisp white hapkido uniform
has a belt of blazing orange
you a fighter of the light

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91: 11-12)

©Tess Ashton