Winter Evening After the Theater

WHEN the play— The Tempest— ended, they resumed
Reality’s topcoats, but white coral reefs
Of snow outside made them again bemused
Like castaways on an island in the sea.
The whole town had been silenced. A deep nap
Of sidewalk plush kept up a whispered count
Of their footsteps. In a dark house that they passed
A telephone hunted with magical empty sounds.
Snow bleached the hung long bones that were the elms.
Across the frozen quiet, far away
A motor car was swelling out its chest
And a tantrum of steam engine started a train.