I grow to like the bare
trees and the snow, the bones and fur
of winter. Even the greyness
of the nunneries, they are so grey,
walled all around with grey stones—
and the snow piled up on ledges
of wall and sill, those grey
planes for holding snow: this is how
it will be, months now, all so still,
sunk in itself, only the cold alive,
vibrant, like a wire—and all the
busy chimneys—their ghost-breath,
a rumour of lives warmed within,
rising, rising, and blowing away.
"Zero Holding" by Robyn Sarah, from The Touchstone: Poems New and Selected (House of Anansi Press, 1992). © Robyn Sarah, reprinted with permission.
Art credit: "Smoke rises from chimneys on a cold winter morning near Weimar, central Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012," photograph by © AP.