"Gymnopédies No. 3"

This sunlight on snow.

This decrescendo
of covered stumps & brush —
stop for it.

Stop before the sled end-
over-ends down
the chin of the hill —

the way it always will
at the rock ⅔ of the way down.

Stop & shiver in it: the ring
of snow inside gloves,
the cusp of red forehead

like a sun just waiting to top
the hill. Every ill-built

snowball waiting to be thrown,
every bell-shaped angel

stamped over the brown leaves.
When my daughter ranges
in winter, she works

every dazzling angle —
the crestfallen pinecones,

the grizzled beards
of bushes in the morning,

a furnace's windup huffing
in this throat-
clearing of snow.

by Adrian Matejka

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