When weather-white descends
to meet the rising steam
of ground-thaw, the heat
of night is bound in velvet
icing.  And as I walk
the violent mixture blends
to form a dream of life
in death---or is this sod
so frosted, really resting 
breathless?  He who picks the law
to smother every passion
might feel oppressed when silent
night-storm costs us God and mind.
But I, who only talk
as prelude to another intercourse,
find a wife within the winter
fashion.  To the late home-comer
no nude were so enticing, nor
could summer win so warm
a smile as this kind 
of tethered form that forces 
me to bare myself and laugh
at fancied freedom.
For then I am reminded that
without the partner's weight
there is no dance.  Nor left 
to myself, would I have begun
to write this poem after midnight.

                                                                      -- Mahlon H. Smith 

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* Note: This poem is a polished version
of an entry in the author's journal 
dated 1 February 1967
and is published here for the first time.

Collected Poems
Mahlon H Smith

copyright 2005
all rights reserved