All afternoon the snowflakes swirl and fall.
In the park, skaters turn on the scraped mirror
of the duck pond. They are entranced by winter
like figurines trapped in a glass ball.
This is a Christmas card, an icon of safety
and it seems to return each year out of a past
that can still reach us. It speaks for things that last,
like a breathless charm against catastrophe
and those who watch from the road are reassured
by the calm skill, the terse redundancy
that circulates in that time-warped vortex
at the edge of day, near the old stone fort
where forebears dreamed, in their nation’s infancy,
that every ill we suffer could be cured.