After “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens and
“Because I could not stop for death – (479)” by Emily Dickinson
Because one must stop winter’s mind –
though I could not have death –
the forest’s rearguard held its snow
as kindling bowed
to crust. Like sour elves, immortal
carnage slowly stooped. The pine-trees
drove new haste. And time put cold
away in long
pajamas. My leisure shagged a has-
been, spruce in rough civility. My
icy labor’s distance built a January
sun of gold.
The past was scolded; not for striving,
thinking or its children ringed in
misery’s success. The sun, zigzagging,
pissed in fields
of sound. A few leaves settled quivers
on the ipsilateral dew and sipped,
which drew the sound of chill. Our
in gesso’s loot; we sapped a house
that seemed to swell with wind. The
same grand wind was barely visible –
the corn from icy
ground was proof – and blew the centuries
bare. Since then before has listened
to yet; the snow feels short of nothing;
to himself; nothing listens to the day.
The hours’ untoward heads are neither
here nor their beholder’s self; the first
Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and three pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in Radius, The Ekphrastic Review, The Brooklyn Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. He won 1st place in the 2017 SFPA speculative poetry contest and was a finalist in the Rondeau Roundup’s 2017 triolet contest. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing).
Show Jake some love via PayPal at jjsheff(at)gmail(dot)com.