Today I saw the snow begin,

Athin, utilitarian,

    Almost accidental

    Speck, a syllable

Of sleet, aconscious

Parody of Christmas,

    One flake falling straight

    To meet its flattened fate,

Nature’s inexorable lawyer

Rushing through the forest foyer,

    All that grim efficiency

    To trim a needle on a tree;

But imperceptibly the flow

Of microscopic bits of snow,

    Slowly drifting, hard to see,

    Imposes meteorology

On the formerly autumnal hill

Outside our frosted window sill,

    Like a paintbrush, dabbing light

    Until the yellow leaves turn white,

Adding fuel to the fire

To which all forms of rain aspire:

    That so much frozen air would rush

    To provoke this sudden flurried hush

Is confirmation that the sky

Can focus on a patch of rye

    And roll out winter’s windrow thresher

    (Disguised as barometric pressure)

And harvest all the fields that grow

From a single piece of snow.