I love the drive up Perth County Road
to Wellesley with the snow not quite covering
the shaven waves of soybean crops,
and every so often a Mennonite farmer,
like a black speck on a camera lens
waves at a horse he’s calling, as I pass.
A philosopher said our choices are who we are,
but all I gather is that there is night,
there is morning and then there is night.
I’m not quite old, but it’s harder to see the light,
once you’ve seen it. I can only guess now that
choosing involves trying to forget what your
body recalls, along the way; we are constant
traitors. So, maybe it’s a good thing that all I do
this morning is describe the world around me,
like a child’s first day in front of the shiny
letters of an alphabet that some season will replace
the trillion phrases of his own inborn tongue.
Here, though, as I drive further, asphalt gives
into gravel, then over little bridges meant
for buggies into towns that tried humbly
to exist. There’s no truth in them. They don’t lie.
They carry on, playfully vanishing
back into a lived innocence, which I guess
is how winter is supposed to make you feel.
The sameness of snow, it appears, makes
itself a landscape offering no choice, just
an unheard calling. I’m glad it’s winter now.
I suppose it makes sense. The fences are broken
with ice, and glued with it. There is light
falling from the sky, and a horse has wandered
into the road. A man is passing from fifty years ago,
a blur streaked with snow.