Doug Ramspeck Snow Prophecy

mother imagines that the snowflakes falling
behind the house are her children

& the snow hardening into a carapace of skin
is a kind of long division       the years

existing in the backs of her teeth       in a throb
in her molars       in some raw patch of her tongue

or maybe her children are the sticky eggs
of stars embedded in the sky’s mud

or the trees in the woods shed not only
their leaves but their bark       stripped to bare bone

& when she was younger she imagined that a body
growing inside another body might come to seem

like prophecy       & she imagined something holy
in the blood of giving birth       something sacrificial

but now she wonders if her sons & her daughter
are more like smoke or mist, not a plinth

but constructed out of visions and winter snows
& she suspects that the years are something

you might catch in an outstretched palm
& the filial devotion of the sky

makes of her breaths living formations
all around her

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