Plot lines

So often there is snow—how can there not be?
Random anxious flakes, then swirls, jackets
shaken in hallways, the brims of hats

scooping at snow like saucers—this is
winter after all, there is dark to follow,
there are footprints in snow which frighten

because never heard. One guesses so much.
Further on in the movie more snow is almost
certain, this is the kind of story

after all which intends you to shiver,
to say, ‘Out there, in the naked daylight,
where worse things happen, worse by far.

There is nevertheless the luck of not
being prepared.’ With snow we are always
awaiting more, where the worst can be

itself: the ribbon of blood flowing
beneath one’s cuff, the gasped map
on the hansom’s glass. Her beseeching, ‘Jack?’

Photo by Helen O'Sullivan

Vincent O'Sullivan, DCNZM, is a New Zealand poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright, critic and editor. He was the New Zealand Poet Laureate for the term 2013-2015.

Poem source details >

Vincents Victoria University Press author page
Vincent’s Poet Laureate blog