Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Poem for February

Two triggers for this poem: On Monday I took a hike on the Maple Highlands Trail in Chardon (on what once was a railroad track). I was the only person out hiking during the snowstorm, and it was so beautiful. Also, my friend Kathy Flora told me how happy she was shoveling snow one evening recently. I think I understood her happiness.

February in Northeast Ohio

I. Hiking the Maple Highlands Trail in Chardon,
Not another person in sight.
Snow four inches deep, none but occasional squirrel tracks,
Sugar maple, tall pine covered with white, every branch and bud,
The woods quiet—
And beautiful.

Can’t believe this good fortune,
This blessing,

To be witness to the silent beauty,
This contemplative miracle.

II. Shoveling the driveway in the dark.
Cleveland Heights, this busy town,
Relaxes, quiets down, exhales.

Swirling snow dancing in the streetlight
Nothing short of magical,
This peacefulness, this beauty.

As you push and lift the snow,
You notice your muscles,
Thank God for them,
For skin, nerves, bone, and sinew.

How to explain your joy?
And who would ever listen?

                        Bob Coughlin / February 9, 2016

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