Monday, March 22, 2010

what was it that he trusted so?

On a day entirely neutral grey:                                                                                          January 13th, 1998

A full foot of dry powder
came down after Christmas
a blessing filling the locust woods
draping all thorns, outlining
the rock maple, revealing structure
in the erasure of the intermediate;
stone walls, the foundations
of forgotten barns and houses
and the fading roads through the trees

My sons and I went out to sled
found a suitable slope
down through the trees and across
a wide trail, ending in a rocky pit
a farmer's basement a century gone;
a couple of runs made the track fast
and Eamonn complained that the snow
into his eyes would blow
and sting, and he said,
“I know what I'll do,”
and halfway down his last run
pulled his hat down to his chin
and rode his bucking sled blind
into the white future
wild and unafraid
what was it that he trusted so?

and he slammed the trail, flew into white air,
skimmed the submerged stones and
caromed off a locust tree
shouted in pain and lay still
in the uncomplaining snow

and we ran down to him, my
heart torn in two
between fear that he was maimed
and pure wonder at his wildness;
lifted him up and got him walking,
promising him hot chocolate
in the warm kitchen of the present,
the house still full of life and noise
and color, sailing on a sea of snow.
What was it that he trusted so? 

Eamonn, Christmas 2010

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About Me

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He clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ring'd with the azure world, he stands. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls.