Snow is sometimes a she, a soft one.
Her kiss on your cheek, her finger on your sleeve
In early December, on a warm evening,
And you turn to meet her, saying, 'It's snowing'
But it is not. And nobody's there
Empty and calm is the air.
Sometimes the snow is a he, a sly one
Weakly he signs the dry stone with a damp spot.
Waifish he floats and touches the pond and is not.
Treacherous-beggarly he falters, and taps at the window.
A little longer he clings to the grass-blade tip
Getting his grip.
Then how she leans, how furry foxwrap she nestles
The sky with her warm, and the earth with her softness.
How her lit crowding fairlytales sink through the space-silence
To build her palace, till it twinkles in starlight
Too frail for a foot
Or a crumb of soot.
Then how his muffled armies move in all night
And we wake and every road is blockaded
Every hill taken and every farm occupied
And the white glare of his tents is on the ceiling..
And all that dull blue day and on into the gloaming
We have to watch more coming
Then everything in the rubbish-heaped world
Is a bridesmaid at her miracle.
Dunghills and crumbly dark old barns are bowed in the chapel
of her sparkle,
The gruesome boggy cellars of the wood
Are a wedding of lace
Now taking place
© Copyright Ted Hughes