In Like a Lion


Against a wish I snuck
out into the storm and stood
frigid minutes on a path
from shoppers to a calm
surprised by only me.

Descending snow screened off
sound and built its world
from night light and motion.
The latish hour seemed safe
though ghostly; the ravine
laid out in white and brown
showed where summer masks
the body of the land.

I waited for the right
touch (stop me if you've heard
this one) like a single
flake clasping to my eyelash.
I didn't think it came.

But here in early summer
as I watch dusk descend
that green disguise, I
catch the scent of what
drenched me, underhandedly,
in the snow. Which was, I think,
that I was trying. Trying
to gather from the patient world
punchlines from a blizzard
of stories. All I've come away with
is the drifted blossoms
only now beneath the cherry,
zinging me, zinging me.

- © Sean Bentley