Silence — First Snow

Jeanine Stevens



Winter again, sweeping the summit,                                             

wetter than later, echoing in a hush.                                               


The large crow hawking yesterday

is nowhere in sight. It is six a.m.


I plug in the small tree, lights

backlit against frozen windows.


It seems a burning bush in

all this whiteness. I like this hour


when the ground is still—void

of scent, no bland granite or spicy moss.


I am alone—no smoke from chimneys,

no one walking to the lake.


It is a protected contemplation,

a celestial silence that will soon be


interrupted when the sun re-asserts

itself and grabs all the glory.


Then, trees release white discs: springing

catapults, a hundred jittery fingers.


The earth warms, heat trickles

down eaves, soaking wood fences.


Limbs rise in a yawn,

and black asphalt steams gray


and hissy through melting snow,

destroying all my white silence.



Jeanine Stevens was raised in Indiana, and lives in California. Her chapbooks are: Boundary Waters (The Indian Heritage Council, 2005), The Keeping Room (Rattlesnake Press, 2006) and The Meaning of Monoliths (Poet’s Corner Press, 2006).  Her poems have been published in South Dakota Review, Timber Creek Review, and Pegasus.  She won the Stockton Arts Commission Poetry Contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.