Sam Schmidt

Snow Touches the Earth

A white line along the top of each branch.
The tree, the whole landscape, anticipatory.

The toddler god of the cold,
who does not care
about cars getting where they need to go,
rises up
with his single enormous crayon.

The snow-covered tree is painterly.
A child has gone back
over letters or lines,
highlighting them with a different color.
Sits back to gauge the effect.
Starts erasing.

Who put glue on each branch, each twig?
Shook down all that white?

The Tree Is Spiky and Fierce

Its branches a bouquet of bird talons,
tight unopened buds like razor-sharp spurs.
It stands at the entrance to a dark fairy tale.

To Look On a Thing

This tree for example.

To wonder
what are the earliest
coldest words one could speak?

To imagine those words
crystallizing out of nothing,
out of mist and cloud.

Watch them float down
against the outline of that thing, the lightest
feather of attention.

Delineating and defining.

© Sam Schmidt

Sam Schmidt, author of the poetry collection Suburban Myths (Beothuk Books, 2012), lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been published in a number of journals including the Potomac Review, Gargoyle, and Potomac: A Journal of Politics and Poetry. His work has been anthologized in Weavings 2000, edited by Michael Glaser. In the 1990s, he founded and edited WordHouse, a newsletter for Baltimore writers. He earned his Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature from the Johns Hopkins University and now works for the Social Security Administration.

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