Dust of Snow


The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree


Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I rued.


—Robert Frost


Here is a wintry poem for you as you begin a new year.

It is one sentence. Only two words go to two syllables. It doesn’t have any metaphors, although one could argue it, all of it, is only a metaphor. The picture is black (crow) and white (snow) and utterly simple. The rhymes button perfectly into their button holes. This little poem doesn’t seem like much out here in the snow of the empty page. You can easily hold on to it in your mind or, cut out of this page, tuck it into your wallet or tape it up on your bathroom mirror, if you want.

Yet, as small and simple as it is, it does what it intends, by getting a crack started and letting that crack continue in us, the readers. It begins to make us shift and see how a little surprise can dislodge everything. A bad day can go on forever; release from it is the putting-right of the universe.

I suspect the year ahead will have for you both bad days and good days. It always seems such. My prayer for your (and for me) as we look ahead is that we will be dislodged from those bad days by some small and simple act of grace to change in our mood so we may feel put-right again.

Pastor Robin