Friday, January 21, 2011

A Snowman's Folly

The Bitter End
by Daniel Anderson

Summoned from a fresh page
Of winter, and finished with a stovepipe hat,
The snowman started life in middle age,
Bald and running to fat.

In a corner of the yard
Beneath an ice-encrusted pine tree tassel,
Honor-bound and dauntless, he stood guard
Over the frozen castle

Built also by a child
On the unshovelled morning after the storm.
He lingers there, content to wait, in a mild
And vaguely human form,

Dissolving into the mud.
He's shed his scarf and dropped his walking cane,
Endured the soft and intermittent thud
Of January rain,

And still maintains his grinning
While comprehending nothing of his demise,
Not the dangling corncob nor the thinning
Sockets of his eyes.

He makes the slow return
From gutter stream through glittering brook to sea
With relatively small or no concern
For his own misery;

He's never been known to grouse
About warm weather or his loosening bones,
And all day long he's faced this lonely house
Cracking his smile of stones.

"The Bitter End" by Daniel Anderson, from January Rain.

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