Winter arrives: three poems by Jane Kenyon

Toronto_First snow of the season_16.11.2014

Jane Kenyon (1947-1995, Michigan/New Hampshire)
The Cold
I don’t know why it made me happy to see the pond ice over in a day,
turning first hazy, then white. Or why I was glad when the thermometre
read twenty-four below, and I came back to bed – the pillows cold,
as if I had not been there two minutes before.
. . .
Apple dropping into deep early Snow
A jay settled on a branch, making it sway.
The one shriveled fruit that remained
gave way to the deepening drift below.
I happened to see it the moment it fell.
Dusk is eager and comes early. A car
creeps over the hill. Still in the dark I try
to tell if I am numbered with the damned,
who cry, outraged, Lord, when did we see You?
. . .
Depression in Winter
There comes a little space between the south
side of a boulder
and the snow that fills the woods around it.
Sun heats the stone, reveals
a crescent of bare ground: brown ferns,
and tufts of needles like red hair,
acorns, a patch of moss, bright green…
I sank with every step up to my knees,
throwing myself forward with a violence
of effort, greedy for unhappiness
– until by accident I found the stone,
with its secret porch of heat and light,
where something small could luxuriate, then
turned back down my path, chastened and calm.
. . . . .