Mary Cuffe Perez

What the Snow Uncover


Winter leaves grudgingly. This is what you want? It asks.

Take it, then.

It kicks up a few bones on the way out,

uncovers the excavations of moles and mice,

beer cans by the road side.


This is what you want?!  it snorts.  The wild turkey

escaped from  internment

stalks the mud sucked field of the last farm in town.

Unfurls its vestments

for three skinny hens

who look the other way.  


Just something to eat, they say.


He persists, though, turning this way and that,

hoping to spark the engine of desire,

unbudgeable as the rusted tractor

the snow has just come down from.


Then the pink balloon that lifted out of nowhere, sailing over the clotted

highway on its way out of town.


Then the woman in front of Liberty Tax and Loan

who turns up each year at this time dressed

as the Statue of Liberty.


Back and forth she walks, over the pavement,

waving to the passing.  Sometimes she pauses

and just stands there

In front of the big glass window of the Tax and Loan,

wanting a cigarette, I guess,

or something else she knows will kill her.


Mary Cuffe Perez, Galway, New York, is author of two books of poetry, Nothing by Name (Shaggy Dog Press, 2012), and The Woman of Too Many Days (Calyx Press, 2000) and a children’s novel, Skylar (Penguin, 2008).  She has written articles for Adirondack Life, The ConservationistYankeeNorthern Woodlands and other magazines.  She has published poems and short stories in numerous journals.  She is currently working on a literary, social history project, entitled, What We Keep: Life Stories from Maplewood Manor, funded through a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.


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