by Robin Chapman

The Inspector of Snowstorms

Retiring, I look for a new occupation, want
to appoint myself, like Thoreau, an inspector
of weather, but there’s so much else to do—
bicycle trails to walk or ride, garlic mustard
to pull, the crane count to make in the marsh,
the prairie to burn and sow; or, slower still,
the woods to walk about, ears tuning in
the stations of wood duck and vireo, oriole
and crow, or the eye finding the prisms
of morning beaded on wild geranium leaves,
light brushed by the mouse ears of oak
overhead, each day new in the marsh, each evening
visiting a friend like Emerson or Alcott,
each night the heart wandering through words
like the eye through the spinning stars of summer,
or the winter veils of never-the-same snowflakes
weighting the stripped trees and underbrush.

-originally appeared in Nimrod. From On Retirement: 75 Poems, edited by Robin Chapman & Judith Strasser (University of Iowa Press, 2007).