SNOWSHOEING ALONG THE MATTAGAMI RIVER

By: Brendan Cull & D. M. Stuart
Days and nights
Of howling winds
And blinding swells
Of harsh,
Unending snow,
The bush is best heard
Through the upturned end
Of a snowshoe
Under an open
And widening sky,
With webbing
Soundlessly pressing
Into unmarked tufts
Of fleecy snow.
Deep out under
Shadowing spruce
And cedar trees
Hung heavy
With yesterday’s
Blowing storm,
Our tracks fall
Beautiful against
A quiet afternoon
When the wind
Sits on snowflakes,
Glittering the day away.
We stop in a meadow
With bright sun shafts
Running towards us
In long panels,
Catching the red
Thermos as we move
To warm ourselves
With near-scalding tea.
All the while,
The sun moves
Wordlessly on
Into the tangled
Low branches of trees
And the light
Flickers blue-gray
Along the perfectly still snow.