Ever notice that white noise
generating machines never include the sound
of snow falling?
Rainfall and river over rocks,
but no quietly falling flakes?
Ha! You laugh,
Of course not, there isn’t such a thing
as the sound of snow falling,
like zero is the absence of a whole number.
It’s completely silent and therefore
The problem lies in creating the kind of silence
caused by falling snow.
The pure white noise of nothing–
the insulation of everything,
the way it falls early on a Sunday morning
while everyone sleeps in
and the roads are empty of traffic.
The way it sounds to be out in the yard
in the dark
under the stars
while all of nature and all of mankind’s achievements
Perhaps I should be more specific, for in the north
where people have snowmobiles
to break the silence
In the south in the morning
when it snows there are no machines
like snowblowers and high powered craft
The sound of snowfall here is a return to a time
before small engines and trucks with
scraping blades and salt to exfoliate that which
deadens and muffles and encases.
A time when people celebrate with
logs in the fireplace burning
and soup on the stove or tea from the kettle
and send children out to play.
Ah, the silent house of simmering broth
and flames aglow.
Of course there is also a need for some to go to work,
but since most everything here is cancelled,
the city rests.
Much later, crawling out from under blankets,
neighbors come out with cups of coffee
while kids in snowpants have been making
a day of sledding on the barest covering
until the few inches of white vanish in the
three o’clock sun.
For a moment nothing but the whitest of white noise
not a noise but an absence
of sound loud enough to wake me up
to the pause it brings.
A moment of quiet awareness to recognize
myself in the midst of a busy, noisy life
breathing in cold air and exhaling clouds,
awake in the midst of falling silent snow,