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Early Snow

by Mark Belair


The proud Washington Square Arch presents a

statue of the venerable general whose left wrist,


angled against a podium, is the first place on

his person to collect a gentle fall of snow, the


towering, stone-faced, wind-cracked warrior

made suddenly pacific by this soft wristlet.


Iron handrail posts

sprout tiny snowcaps.


Distant shovels, scraping sidewalks, disclose

the rough contours of lightly dusted cement


while the twirling flurry lands

slight and sticky enough to


cling down blades of grass

and along bicycle spokes.


Then the snow drives on

all day to develop into


a soft, white, city-wide