Kathryn de Leon
 Sequoia National Park, California
                                       Late March


I. White

The snow left itself everywhere
while I slept,
a secret party set up
with a voice of feathers,
its feet so small
its work was soundless.

In the morning
I found a whiskered forest,
the earth grown old

It is spring
but the trees still carry snow
like sleeping babies,
a final, drowsy white
just before color.

II. Death

Death is like snow,

moves without hands
or feet,
faceless but can see,
darkens the sky,
can cover the earth,
leaves no color,
only white,

lies down
over everything,
blank as dreamless sleep,
cold and hard
as bones.

III. The Body

After three days of snow
the eyes are starved for sky.
They scan the morning
for a scrap of blue,
a patch of green.

afternoon tosses sunlight
onto the bed
like a new dress.
Then the body stretches
as if it has been ill,
ready to move,
feel warmth.

After so much white
the skin has grown pale.
If it is cut
it will bleed snow.

Kathryn de Leon