• Penny Harter


Arriving with the first significant snow that south Jersey has had in over two years, this haibun found me—and took me on a ride.

The Same Snow

All snow is the same snow, falling through the years muffling the memories of caves dug out beneath the ice-crusts of childhood, or the hills that went on forever offering breathtaking belly-rides on our worn wooden sleds, flying from top to bottom—and then the long trudge back up, cheeks rosy and stinging in the cold.

again and again

we walk against the wind

on our way

We buckle our galoshes, pull on our snow-pants, zip up warm jackets, wind thick mufflers around our necks, and pull on the hand-knit hats and mittens that gather icy beads as we go. What distant slopes do we seek? What days and nights still swirl in the rising gusts that seize us?

snow angels

blow away—stardust

returning home

Now I open my window to both see and feel the snowfall thickening, the sky darkening as the planet spins into night. Thankfully, I have no need to travel, no need to risk icy roads or even walk out to the car. I am here, cocooned in my small snow-cave, grateful for the purity of white during this Covid dusk.

lowering a bucket

into the spring-fed well—

whose memory?

Copyright © 2021, Penny Harter

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