“Gymnopédies No. 3”

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.

More Poems by Adrian Matejka