Suzy Saul – 2 Poems

Suzy Saul

2 Poems


The smell of snow sears nose, starts tears, tastes of ocean salt:
we’re out at daybreak plowing, warm in the pulsing truck,
our bodies bundled, muffled, dumb as flannel and wool;
I hear the sound of my own ears
moving inside my hood when I turn my head,
the pillow-language of my abandoned bed…

I watch your big hands on the wheel —
you won’t wear hat or gloves,
you like to feel that engine, hear those big tires under you,
the slide or skip of tread,
the perfect glide ahead
as you maneuver, all slow motion:

one foot presses down, a careful lover’s weight,
one hand curls around the knob,
lowers the plow, and then,

breathing without breath, inhaling not at all,
we slide
the mailbox standing its ground,
stubborn steel-bound sentry,
and the bank’s rough stone wall, threatening
to scrape
        a gash
                along our flank…

we’re through!
with just an inch to spare on either side —

We breathe out loud once more,
collapse-relax inside our outside stuffing,
laugh in surprised delight,
and I admire again
the sprinkle of copper hairs
that decorate your hand —
I can taste them, electric, through my coffee.


“We only have one word for snow;
I wish I were an Eskimo.”

Houses boil roof-top snow in driving winds,
a steam of fervor rising from their kettle,
swirling up passionate ghosts of voices past
whose mighty chorus seeks, but cannot settle;
their clamorous souls fly past my silent window,
frenzied to find some challenge worth their mettle.

A stuck truck
on a slick slope
grinds, churns, clatters
in lockjawed hope.

Two shovellers march by,
jaunty, encased in down,
shouldering arms like soldiers,
bold conquerors of the town.

Inside fat hedges, igloos of frozen snow,
our sparrow-citizens chitter to and fro,
congratulate each other, give advice,
flick short trips hedge to hedge inside the ice;
down the steep roof an avalanche of snow
thunders them into silence, snugs them from the wind,
letting them know God loves them and their din,
that spring will come, and nesting will begin.

At night the quarter-moon
leans back and laughs, giving the storm the lie,
and kicks two startled planets up the sky.

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