Leveler Poetry Journal
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Words for Snow

I know the same words that natives know

in the expansive arctic—it is said they speak

over 400 words for snow. When I say snow

I mean to say the spirit of winter, isolation

for isolated minds in the naked freeze—tundra,

permafrost quieting the moss and lichen—

or below the tree line, how alpines slope south

blanketed by a mantle of slush slow to melt.

I say snowfall so lonely that if I could help it

keep falling, perpetual descent in wind’s savage

December pulse, if I could help it I would

fall along with it and let winter speak for itself.

Bret Shepard