The Bed in which You Died Was So Small
By Jackie Bartley

Down the street, a snow hill
constructed on a neighbor’s lawn,
miniature facsimile of a glacier.

January, from the top, a child,
hooded and mittened,
waved at me as I drove past.

In the rearview mirror, I watched
the red plastic sled complete
its brief descent, coast into the street

like some truncated note penned
on a steno pad, or the slightest arc
along a circle’s circumference

suggestive of the whole. Pitiful, really,
in this place where topography fails
to charm, where Earth’s uplifted

portions were leveled by real glaciers
eons ago. Soon, the snow mound
will be no bigger than a handkerchief

dropped by a maiden whose courtly
love grows cold, a black, cindered
affair. Though, just now, amid bright

beads of crocus and ragged, headless
grass, it’s private memorial
to a winter large and cold.