Winter Stand

Winter Stand
jenny downing

read by DEH
audio of Juleigh Howard-Hobson's poem, Winter Stand

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Winter Stand

Autumn comes with cold rain. Wet leaves pillow
The ground as spattered droplets fall, tantrum-
Like and loud, drumming the town with silver
Splashes that fall upon these woods and my roof.
My neighbors will leave here soon. They'll succumb
To the fears of inevitable snow

That winters here bring. My neighbors say snow
Fall around here's too high, they fear pillow
On pillow of drifts: no break. . . . Bah! Succumb
To those fears and nature's autumn tantrum
Can begin to magnify itself. Roof
And wall can seem not enough. Silver

And gold can seem not enough: Gold? Silver?
They can't fix what winter could wring with snow,
With cold, with ice. I don't care, though. My roof
Is sound, my walls are thick. Let drifts pillow
The fields and the hills. I'll have no tantrum,
No sudden urge to flee while I succumb

To fears like my neighbors', or to succumb
To their ways: dry southern heat and silver
Sanded beaches each winter, where tantrum-
Dark skies cannot occur . . . No, let it snow
Until I cannot leave, until pillow
After pillow is piled up to my roof,

Erasing all outward escape. The roof
Will creak, and the walls . . . but, they won't succumb,
Won't buckle. They've stood it so far. Pillow
It on! Pile it against this place. Silver
My windows and my ledges with ice. Snow
Cannot win against my house, no tantrum

Of weather can un-snug me here. Tantrum,
Deluge, storm, I'll stay here, under my roof.
And, unlike those who flee before the snow,
I'll have the time to watch the world succumb
To autumn's urgings, and, as the silver
Icy time of winter and snow's pillow

Comes, with a soft pillow myself, tantrum-
Free and silver haired, I'll sleep while my roof
Does not succumb to any weight of snow.