The clouds, piled in rows like merchandise,
become dark; lights are lit in the lofts;
the milliners, tacking bright flowers on straw shapes,
say, glancing out of the windows,
It is going to snow;
and soon they hear the snow scratching the panes. By night
it is high on the sills.
The snow fills up the footprints
in the streets, the ruts of wagons and of motor trucks.
Except for the whir of the car
brushing the tracks clear of snow,
the streets are hushed.
At closing time, the girls breathe deeply
the clean air of the streets
sweet after the smell of merchandise.
Return to Separate Way
POEMS 1918-1975: THE COMPLETE POEMS OF CHARLES REZNIKOFF Copyright © 1977
by Marie Syrkin Reznikoff and reprinted with the permission of Black Sparrow Press.