This Weather is No Womb
Blowing snow tightens cheeks,
says: you move, get inside,
light a fire, don’t let it go out;
if you lie down, let the fire go out,
you die. This weather is no womb,
no lush jungle, no springy moss;
it’s a slap from the polar ice cap.
Flumes of snow, spume and shift
in cloud drift, like waterfall pouring
off the edge of the mountain ridge.
Why does that waver over ice cliff
speed the heart, light the eye?
These white columns make no sense.
We were born in the sucking sea,
these peaks are where we die;
not where we come from but where we go,
the long journey over rock and snow to the pole.
It is night, but we have come from the sun
and soon now it will rise and light
that great dark beneath the ice.
Parker Towle has published three chapbooks of poetry, an anthology of previously unpublished poems entitled Exquisite Reaction, and his first full-length collection of poems, This Weather Is No Womb,(Antrim House Books, 2007). His poem, "Cases," was read by Garrison Keilor on The Writer's Almanac. As an Associate Editor at The Worcester Review he has edited special editions on the poets, Frank O'Hara and Stanley Kunitz. A member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Parker Towle teaches and practices neurology in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire and also has a home in Franconia.
Poem and image are used here with the permission of the poet. All rights reserved.