Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Colour of a January Afternoon at Mount Nemo
Chameleon dog, now the colour
Of dead grass;
Her underbelly white, like snow
Black eyes - worm pods of asters.

Violet shadows on snow
Cup yellowing willows;
Immense winter blooms
Along the frozen creek.

Crimson sumac fruits
Tip the ends of each black bone branch;
Tufted antlers of submerged cervidae.

Lines of black cedars dip in and out
Of distant folds.
The cold shrinks colour into a darkness
So subtle, you must squint to see it.

The only green in miles of frost
Is a truck sliding across the field.
Its white window rolls down
Past the ruddy face
Of the man whose fields I crossed,
To inquire (his question grey tinged with pink) of me.
Our breath rising white into blue air.

Later that night
Green Northern Lights
In the black, black sky
Danced me home.

Helen McCusker


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