First Snow
By Ray Sharp

The dogs and I venture into an alien landscape,
Lapland, Siberia, the Martian surface, new snow
like frozen ashes, like dead skin flaking from
the god of all things too cold and forbidding.

Those twenty centuries passed in the shtetls
on the Russian steppes, in the ghettos of Krakow,
Smolensk, L’vav, were nary enough time to
accustom my blood to the profound absence of light.

I crave sunshine, orange juice, olive groves, warm
sand and blue water, and the company of dark-
complected souls who collect the sun’s rays
and reflect them in warm and lively conversation.

On this third day of November, when my world
has turned from green to white, all color drained
like blood from a corpse, I feel like a car spinning
on an icy grade, or skidding toward the ditch.

Ray Sharp lives in the rural, rugged and remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near Lake Superior. He will be the featured poet in the June 2012 edition of Contemporary American Voices, and his debut poetry collection, Memories of When We Were Birds, will be published in 2012. His poems have appeared in many on-line and print journals, and can be seen at