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Snowflakes


Yesterday they were denticulate as dandelion greens, they
locked together in spokes and fell so weightlessly

I thought of best friends holding hands.
And then of mating hawks that soar into the air to link their claws
and somersault down, separating just before they touch the ground.

Sometimes the snowflakes glitter, it's more like tinkling
than snow, it never strikes, and I want to be struck, that is

I want to know what to do. I begin enthusiastically,
I go in a hurry, I fall pell-mell down a hill, like a ball of yarn's

unraveling trajectory—down and away but also surprising ricochets
that only after seem foretold. Yesterday I took a walk because

I wanted to be struck, and what happened was
an accident: a downy clump floated precisely in my eye.

The lashes clutched it close, melting it against the eye's hot surface.
And like the woman talking to herself in an empty church

who eventually realizes she is praying, I walked home with eyes that melted snow.


Jennifer Grotz

New England Review

Volume 32, Number 3 / 2011


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