by Peter Whalen

Artist Unknown

Atop a flight of stairs,
while pickups push snowplows,
an engraver’s hand
plays on the frosted pane.

she cut oak leaves
revealing midribs
palmately veined.

Frost etched
by her exacting blade.

Woodcuts scored
in pre-dawn glace.

Sunday, strands of coral,
backlit by street lamps,

form from morning’s flake,
bordered by a walnut frame.

Currents sway—
Weaves break—
Rosaries bead with pearls—
Wild horse braids flow—

The dormer’s eye delights
on images
carved by wind
in ice.

What comes tomorrow?

Apples on a bough?

July plums?

Owl’s clover or indigo?

-originally appeared in Wisconsin Poets' Calendar