The Man Shrouded in Snow ~ Danny Cassidy

For years you’ve been left there on the oak tree

by the fence. I’ve seen the flurry of squirrels

in spring cling at your feet, claw your bared

torso and climb the height of birds. Absurd

that you were nailed there in the backyard. Left

idle to the labor of weather. Angled just right

so that a mother washing dishes could feel

the rush of hot water and gaze through the kitchen

window at your immaculate form. I have

watched too—at a distant—in the periphery

of comings-and-goings. I knew your name

but never said hello. Because you were the same

man radiant in the paintings, holding your heart

of fire. The emblem gleaming gold at dawn light

off a brother’s chest. How this house has grown

quiet like forsaken ash. But now in the breadth

of this blizzard, three days in, the slowly receding

blanket of snow prostrate at your feet, I am

in awe at your maker. Who said no to precious

metals, who grew tired of the scent of wood, who

lacquered your body with the dew of bones,

a whiteness that makes you cold and somehow more

approachable. You there crucified in silence,

basking like snow in warmth’s cruel ecstasies.

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