Justin Marks


All that whiteness was still before me,
a field of snow on which
not one foot seemed to have left a print.
And around the field, cold and rickety trees,
their shadows hovering
as if they were not shadows but shade,
independent of what cast their image
on the ground. It was as if
there were no trees...whiteness without end,
but touched with such shading as needed
to keep things interesting.

On closer examination,
foot paths and sometimes roads appeared
and it was a different season,
or maybe as subtle as
a few minutes later,
the world still orbiting
the sun endlessly adjusting the shadows--
a little to the left; there, now up a bit....

One year
the budding little apple tree in the back yard
was not sprayed. From then on worms
each year more freely preyed
on it so tenderly grown,
which reminded me that that tree really exists
as do others.

Now I am aware of my legs
that lift me from this chair
and set me down,
arms and hands that carry things,
make for my chin a place to rest.
And those trees like constant elbows to my ribs...

Thank you
for making me think like this,
and worse yet, making me see
how much I enjoy it;
how naïve I was
to say, whiteness without end.