10 September 2008

My Name is Noel

Just past mid-December
when a nightfall of snow gives way
to a dim morning of dull diamonds
covering the ground, the trees,
the roofs, the cars, the roads,
the stillness of the campuses rouses
invisible, child-like magic
in the hearts of 20-somethings.
Waddle outdoors in seven layers.
Sharp winds cut beneath your nose
and across your exposed cheeks.
Spend the next several hours trudging
around ankle-deep in
fresh, flawless precipitation.
Step onto the untouched plots
of powdered grass.
Welcome to a sacred acreage.
Snow surrenders beneath wet sneakers
and echoes between Hale and Waters Hall.
For hours, admire quiet flakes drifting down,
silhouetted by street lights.
Daylight fades into the ground.
Make your way inside where
a wet trail of footsteps
follows you to the bathroom.
Peel off your damp outer shell.
Cheeks are red and burning
and fingers tingle, as if being licked
by a cold flame.
Shuffle to the kitchen in an undershirt
and shorts and socks.
Sip hot chocolate and reclaim
your chilled appendages.
Consistency is comforting.
Every winter the world is spectacularly silenced.
Rough edges of buildings are softened.
The absence of sound is beautiful.
At night, the stars
are magnified
against the blackest firmament.


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