The Last Snow

by Hadley Hury

She asks to go out on the screened porch
for a few minutes where she sits silhouetted
against the whitened ground, licking her paws
and back-brushing her head, luxuriating
in the only kind of winter in which she sees
any point whatever. She knows it’s an
unexpected evanescence, a gentle safe
amusement, and on her mouth and in her fur
she savors, secure from her prospect,
the vestiges of  a good breakfast.

The snow keeps tumbling insistently down
yet even though the morning light is muted, ashy,
and obscured it still is nonetheless
the light of March, and the bright bare unthreatened trees
merely feign a ghostliness, murmuring
together, sharing the joke of their costume.
Like the cat on the porch they know
this is nothing to be taken seriously,

there is no ice, no bitterness, and in
a day or two the memory of this elegant
anachronism will tickle up their roots,
and the breeze, soughing once more from the south,
will tease goldfinches from their inmost branches,
congratulate the brave forsythia
and the flagrant youth of green and tender mosses,
and lift the waiting eager chins of daffodils.

HADLEY HURY's poetry and short fiction has appeared in Image, Appalachian Heritage, Avatar, Forge Journal, Vox Poetica, Meadowland Review, The Colorado Review, Green Mountains Review, The Penwood Review, Broad River Review, Off the Coast, The James Dickey Review and other journals. He is a former teacher, senior executive for not-for-profit organizations focusing on the environment and women’s health; he is also a film critic and lecturer, and the author of a novel and a short story collection. Born in Memphis, he has lived in New York, Denver, and Atlanta, and now resides with his wife Marilyn in Louisville, Kentucky.

*cat photo courtesy the author


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