American Muse: Donald Hall

aHallMuse1

“Mount Kearsarge Shines”

Mount Kearsarge shines with ice; from hemlock branches
snow slides onto snow; no stream, creek, or river
budges but remains still. Tonight
we carry armloads of logs

from woodshed to Glenwood and build up the fire
that keeps the coldest night outside our windows.
Sit by the woodstove, Camilla,
while I bring glasses of white,

and we’ll talk, passing the time, about weather
without pretending that we can alter it:
Storms stop when they stop, no sooner,
leaving the birches glossy

with ice and bent glittering to rimy ground.
We’ll avoid the programmed weatherman grinning
from the box, cheerful with tempest,
and take the day as it comes,

one day at a time, the way everyone says,
These hours are the best because we hold them close
in our uxorious nation.
Soon we’ll walk — when days turn fair

and frost stays off — over old roads, listening
for peepers as spring comes on, never to miss
the day’s offering of pleasure
for the government of two.
aHallMuse2

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