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The Year's Last Snow
by Bob Skeele

If you live in the snow belt
       it's hard to know
       before the middle of May
       which is the last snow
to blow
across the shoulder-high mounds,
that line the plow-planed roads.

Once the snow is falling, though,
you hope it's the last,
after the many before,
not because it's outclassed
or no longer beautiful,
       for who can fail to see
            in its measured pace, a slow,
quiet, descending grace?

But beauty,
oft repeated,
at least nature's white-frocked kind,
       even if heaven-sent,
soon weighs us down with duty,
playing the devil
saturating our memories,
teaching our muscles
to forever sweep and shovel.

At nature's hand,
played close to the vest,
seems frowned upon,
does it not,
             the snow pack melting away
at time's warm behest?
For some moralists
           it becomes
a convenient metaphor:

Accumulation is never a virtue
(unless it's the cardinal kind
to match the seven deadly ones)
and, like snow,
       will surely melt,
dissolving into other pockets
            on earth's revolving,
circling show.


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