The Snow Outside

by Morton Marcus

The snow lies down
in the dark woods.
It is weary and emits
a soundless sigh.

It settles under the trees,
the hair of old men,
silent, still, fallen
beyond the house

and window. It shifts
as I do in bed
beneath the blankets,
awakened by the silence.

The snow outside
and me inside. What
was I dreaming?
Or is this the dream:

an old man in bed,
hearing nothing,
waiting for the tick
of snow flakes, each

one a remembrance,
a scratching that never
enters the room
and that I long

to hear. This is a dream
not of the past or present
but of the future
occurring now –

or not a dream,
but the thoughts
of an old man awake
in a dark house,

willing the furniture
to scrape against the floor,
or the faucet to drip
like a schoolboy’s steps

as he makes his way
out of the dark woods,
wondering at the silence
around him, listening.

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