“Gymnopédies No. 3”

By Adrian Matejka Adrian Matejka
This sunlight on snow.

This decrescendo
of covered stumps & brush —
stop for it.

Stop before the sled end-
             over-ends down
             the chin of the hill —

the way it always will
at the rock ⅔ of the way down.

Stop & shiver in it: the ring
             of snow inside gloves,
             the cusp of red forehead

like a sun just waiting to top
the hill. Every ill-built

             snowball waiting to be thrown,
             every bell-shaped angel

stamped over the brown leaves.
When my daughter ranges
             in winter, she works

every dazzling angle —
             the crestfallen pinecones,

             the grizzled beards
of bushes in the morning,

a furnace’s windup huffing
             in this throat-
             clearing of snow.

Source: Poetry (January 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2014
 Adrian  Matejka


Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He earned his BA from Indiana University and an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), won the 2002 New York / New England Award. His second collection, Mixology (Penguin, 2009), was a winner of the National Poetry Series. Mixology was a finalist for a NAACP . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Nature, Winter, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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