snow and canadian poets

acorn, avison,
birney, bringhurst
all canadian poets speak of snow
livesay, newlove
layton, lightfoot
it’s as though they were there
when the meteors slammed
into the earth kicking up clouds
of sulfate, shrouding
the great plains from sun
a solar heat shield
for the laurentian plateau
cooling, cooling
wallace, waddington
watching, watching

and kroetsch on the lookout too
sees that first atomic crystal
crawl out from beneath a chondrite
float up into the impact winter
seeking comfort in a cold cloud
colliding, coalescing 
determined hexagon
fraternal deposition
gluing vapour to vapour
droplet to droplet
spikes, columns, buttresses
flesh gathering flight
writes it down into his seed catalogue
…how do you grow a snow flake?
how do you grow a poet?
wait, wait, wait
then fall high up into the atmosphere


Robert Kroetsch (1927-2011)

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