Last night the snow fell. Waking in the dark
I peered between the curtains. All was quiet.
One street light cast a circle. Overhead
the moon hung, veiled, uncertain. A few flakes
still drifted down, and paused, and touched and settled.
New shapes rose, rounded, smooth, new outlines carved
an unfamiliar landscape, boundaries blurred.
The road stretched pale and level, almost perfect.
One car had passed, slowed, turned, scored two deep tracks
and vanished, leaving in its wake a trail,
a graceful curve, a swathe of fresh-turned snow.
Today I watch my cat picking his way
across the icy crust, discomfited,
shaking each paw in turn, testing each step,
a shallow, cautious path. Along the hedge
march sets of deeper treads, maybe the fox,
a badger or some other visitor
invisible till now, while everywhere
the birds have spread their claw prints, sharp, defined,
etched in the white, a delicate tracery.