Remembering the first snow

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Around this time of year when we think about the last snow of the season, it's hard to recall that first snowfall back in November. Here, despite his joy at the first snow, the poet says that he's not going to do a pirouette with outstretched arms. That's a particularly striking image, if you know Michael Koehler. He's a really big guy, roughly the size of a hefty NFL fullback.

First Snow

By Michael Koehler

Crossing the Library parking lot before any one

or anything else holds a ghost of magic for me.

The newly bare trees, too young to be bold

and too wild to not show off,

hold out their arms and stand real still.

I stop in the middle of the lot,

at the end of a line of footprints.

The transit buses are beautiful,

the dumpsters are calm and clean.

The bundled-up street people move briskly

as the sun rises over the apartments and offices.

I forget, sometimes, to be, like the trees, still.

I do nothing corny like stretch out my arms and pirouette

in the snow, but I smile, and watch my neighborhood,

and for a moment I am wealthy beyond rich.


Michael Koehler lives in Little Chute, Wis. The poem appears here with his permission.

— Charlie Rossiter lives in Bennington and writes about poetry.


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