Her race presumes
Conquers all €”even
Monday snowfall when,
From her comfortable nest
At the top of the stairs,
This scroll of fur and claw
Uncoiled, shot outside,
Her eye distilled
For the hunt: tiger demon
Fell to winter’s ambush €”
Snow knives, hawk
Among the weeds, iron
Curve of sky €”and
Beyond the clouds
Orion tips his sword
At each of us.
Will Reger is a history professor at Illinois State University in Champaign. In addition to his contributions to WIZ, he has recently published in Fire in the Pasture and songs/cycles.
Photo by Kalina Reger. Used with permission.
6 thoughts on “Caught in Snow by Will Reger”
Some nice turns of phase: “imperious cuteness”, “scroll of fur and claw”, “her eye distilled for the hunt”, “coyotes lambent among the weeds”, “iron curve of sky” and the menacing “Orion tips his sword at each of us.”
I am pleased to have inspired consensus, gentlemen.
I read “fell” in stanza 5 as “fatal” at first rather than “was conquered by”. Wonder why my mind dropped into that archaic usage right off.
Once I broke through that un-understanding, I recognized this poem. We live out on the edge of the desert and have lost several cats, including one of our favorites, Dazzle, to lambent coyotes or foxes, or perhaps to gun-toting kids that prowl the woods, or to one of the foothold traps people bait around here to catch coyotes for bounty. After Dazzle had been gone two or three days, I stood on the back porch, looking in the direction from which she usually approached the house, and said to my husband, “I don’t think Dazzle’s coming home this time.”
This poem revives that loss effectively.
Thanks for the leg up, Patricia.
That last image is quite wonderful. Menacing, mythological. The idea that we are all too cozy in our little nests.