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After Snowfall

Text of Poem

Sky smooth as a country
untouched by the plow,
earth as unmarked as the sky
under its thick snowfall.
Morning soundless, muted
now marred by my tracks
to the field where a monster
of snow becomes a corn picker
I have come to grease.
Grease nipples emerge after
brushed by my mittened hand.
I check the outlets,
ends of the fluted snapping rolls,
gathering chains, drive shaft,
elevator sprockets. No sound
but the lever working on the
grease gun, the soft squelch
as bearings fill and grease squirts
from the safety hole. The morning
gleams white as apple’s flesh,
silent as an empty church.
Only my gnomelike figure and
busy arms disturb its peace.
The time seems breathless.
Then a rabbit leaps from
beneath the machine and leaves
a trail, a dog barks, a plane
scratches the sky, cows bawl,
sounds that break the silence.
I note a snowcap fall from
a fence post, I wipe my nose
on my mitten, the day begins.

First Line
Sky smooth as a country
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
New Jersey Poetry Journal 1.2 (Spring 1982) 25-6.
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