Our Lady of Snow Forts
Lady of February, of Frozen Light, of Time Siphoned into Crystalline Brightness
As mother to Mother, thank you
for snow-mortared snow, my children laboring in your winter tabernacle
for packed white bricks—one layer, then three, then six deep—each brick stacked & locked in place
for the sparkling eyes & runny noses of your disciples, the pile of shed shells & wet gloves, thank you
Their breath-steam scarves wrapping rapt faces
How they huddle over an ice-block table, chapped hands cupping sandwiches, plain PB&J that you, Lady of Luminous Grains, change to ambrosia, thank you
for dogs brushing heels that become arctic wolves scouting their hunting grounds
blue jays and finches, fillers-in for buntings, jaegers, terns, thank you
Bless the neighborhood mother you send as scourge to tell off a bully, his wrecking-ball fists
Bless the bully, those fists, let the hoarfrost fall from his eyes that he may behold the fort’s holiness, make of his hands trowels, pulleys
Bless your fervent followers, one more layer, one more brick, working till purple-grey dusk, till dark, till the silver bells of winter stars ring them home
How they wish for canceled school, another day in your paradise of ice—paradice—time enough to roof the igloo
After warm soup and a hot bath, for the benison of ruddy cheeks, your cold-burn kiss pressed to cool linen, thank you
Hopeful, devoted, they’ll dream your snow-pillowed heaven—dream you shaking out your down on our town’s sleepy streets
6 replies on “Our Lady of Snow Forts”
This is absolutely beautiful! “Their breath-steam scarves wrapping rapt faces” inspires a battering ram of human hands, which went to the galley, but never came back, and you had nowhere to exit in this vision, this visage painted on your psalmic palms, so you wore nightfall– “another day in your paradise of ice—paradice—time enough to roof the igloo.” I love how you roll dice, even when its melting so slow it seems like the fastest motion on earth. But in truth, we both know we’re stolen white-noise from heaven: “dream you shaking out your down on our town’s sleepy streets.” Indeed! What is silent but the loudest sound? I guess, we all are oscillating, with hands lost in the labyrinth of I AM… a dream… a dream nodding in and out of existence, like a junkie who is in for the ride of their life, unaware of the tide blisteringly blind.
Absolutely gorgeous language and imagery!
Lovely descriptive language. A poem to keep.
Danya … your poem is magical, like a snow song. So much internal rhyme and assonance. Love “Bless the bully” and “the fort’s holiness, make of his hands trowels, pulleys” … “shaking/out your down….” So much sensual imagery. Thank you for sharing this joy.
I am fortunate to follow Mark Scarborough’s Lyric Poetry podcast where I am introduced to new poems by new poets, as well as re-hearing more well-known poems. Mark Scarborough read us your poem, Our Lady of Snow Forts,” and blew me away. He read it through four times and stopped countless times to re-read the beauty of your rhyming and alliteration and to unpack your imagery and references from the past which you pull in to give life and meaning to present every day experiences – Giving thanks to Our Lady of the Snow Fort who becomes Our Lady of Luminous Grains, winter tabernacle, ambrosia, silver bells of winter stars. Giving thanks even for the winter bully…so much beauty and so many visual and aural surprises. Thank you for this gorgeous poem.
What a gorgeous poem. I love its imagery, tone, sound scapes.