A poem by Baron Wormser

Crawford, Nebraska

March 25th. Driving at night

Through western Nebraska  we are suspended

In the cushioned quiet of a wet spring snow—

Nickel-sized flakes plummeting deliberately.

No wizard of enchantment or Caesar or king

Or khan could have commanded such a pure spectacle.

The inky sky is a heaven and in no hurry.


We park and start to walk through a little town

Whose name we read on the post-office lintel.

It’s late and still and the windows are mostly dark.

The innocence of sleep is palpable

And you say that small towns are like elegies,

That they bring up the sharpest feelings of frailty.


We walk past snowy cottonwood trees

And street signs and pickup trucks. The snow will vanish

By late morning and so will we. We stop in the middle

Of a sidewalk and stick our tongues out and taste

The cold sky, the houses, the low calm breathing

Of children and men and women, the teeming

Wordless drift that subdues everything.

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