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First published in Oxford Magazine, 2007;

In collection, Landscape with a Hundred Bridges,

2007, Blinking Eye, ISBN 978-0-9549036-9-5

 

Father in Snow

 

In this print by Hokusai the snow

sits on the roof like a quiet cat.

Sometime in the night

it will slide off the eaves,

a footfall in the flurry of dreams.

In the morning,

as the orange sun rises,

someone will take a sensible broom of twigs

and scrape the path clear

all the way to the misty river.

 

Snow is the same the world over —

so you’d think, but

it is also other —

other even than itself, every snowflake

perfectly individual.

 

So here in England

it is English snow.

You’re in your boots with the ribbed tops,

and blue corduroy jacket.

The house has shoved you out — a puff of surprise

as you light your cigarette.

 

And though snow is a language, starred

with the small gates, the crystals, the

heart of difference,

and though you have come far,

and will always be strange to me,

here you are, and here it is,

banked against the roots of the hedge,

waiting for the skirl of your shovel.

 

 

Dorothy Yamamoto

 

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collection -
"Landscape with a Hundred Bridges",
Blinking Eye

 


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