Watching Snow – Raymond Ward
You were standing at the window, silently
when the first flakes began to fall
between the houses, to settle in the boughs
of the leafless elm and in the yard below;
and so intently were you watching them
spin through the early winter gloom
to catch in fences, heap on the window sill,
you did not notice when I spoke to you.
So I fell silent, too. But now,
not just because the snow enchanted me:
the way you stood there like a memory
re-awakened so much tenderness
I had thought buried long ago
nostalgic, maternal as the falling snow,
that I was glad when you made no reply.
Nearness enough to watch you standing there,
and as intently as you watched the snow:
it gathered slowly, darkening your hair
and shoulders, till your outline only, drained
like a negative, at last remained,
sharp against the window veiled with steam.
You must have known that I was watching you,
pierced by the memory a snowflake clears,
or why were you also, when you turned, in tears?
O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.