A Man Turns


snow photo

Hush! She called him,

Dusk and the first snow

Are falling, come, join me

On the deserted lake road

For a twilight rendezvous

Destined for us.


Never one to refuse her siren call,

He dressed and headed up,

Silent in the silent snow,

The noisy world shut-in for once,

His pounding heart the sole sound

Shared with thoughts of beauty’s face.


The lake was painted yin and yang,

Swirled snow on thin white ice,

Black geese floating spies on

The misty black open water.

Glowing eyes in the gathering dusk,

Searchlights on his slipping steps.

No one will see us here,

He thought, swallowing the uncanny

Sense of someone lurking near.


The crepuscular light on bright

White snow made going slow

As he side-stepped drifting mounds,

The newly ancient burying grounds

Of what he took to be

The call refusing wizened ones

Afraid to meet desire in the snow.


Stumbling spellbound mindless now,

Lost in this very moment,

He steps gingerly over the fallen

Body of a still warm life,

While the snow whirls, though fall fell

Not that long ago.  Geese honk

To jolt him wide awake.


Now slightly smiling since

The slumped down snowy body

Of this life he oversteps

On the road has been hit,

Knocked down, but not destroyed.

And though it’s wet and cold,

An abandoned child,

He knows he’ll turn in a minute,

Go back, pick up his life, slip

Into it as if it were a shirt

He had never taken off to wash.

It’s cold, he’s wet, it’s snowing.

But he sees in the image of his body

Lying down behind him

A way to take up the life that lies

Before him.


He feels she called him out of love,

So turns, his life jumps up, they run

Joyously into each other’s arms

As the snow falls upon them

For the first time,alone to face

The gathering storm.

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely.  He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/


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