Horizon Thong

by GEORGE ABBE
GO BACK now; pause to mark
that hill town cut in two:
one half, green summer’s charm,
the other, chasmed in snow.
Horizon, a thong of red
knotted by smoldering sun;
wind, the wind in the drifts,
and crystal blossoms flung
downward — so near, so warm —
to where orchards bend and lift.
And father — father who kneels
to pull snowshoes from his back,
looks down to the shining field
where his son runs, easy and fast;
he must follow, follow to save,
but the snowshoes will not free;
they are rooted to shoulder blade,
they are flesh of paternity.
Only a quick run down,
but helpless he kneels in cold,
watches his young boy run
over meadows lyric and full
towards woods, a woods of his own.
Wrenching, and wet with pain,
the father downward bows;
the village of homes and men
grows faint in the blizzard’s glow.
The boy flashes under trees
and fades. The horizon mark
binds throat of man on his knees;
the sun-knot tightens to dark.