I could tell by the hush
even walking down the back stairs
that it could have fallen overnight.
It wasn’t until you opened
one of the blinds that we saw

its whiteness, that initial surprise
covering the ground
with its freshness, giving the blank
emptiness of the cold a form,
even a sublime beauty. Just

the first snow dusting the surfaces
of everything gave it an omnipotence
however brief, since it would
melt in the sun, as I swept it
off the driveway and porches

with a broom, but it was my walking
through it, actually my trudging
along the accumulation of it, giving
it heft, carrying the stone buddha
you had wanted placed beneath

the enormous pine in the backyard
by the windbreak, that I became
aware of the significance of the act
itself, and the realization it brought,
that as vital as its falling

and having fallen, and as alive
in the moment we might be,
carrying the stone buddha, all of us,
and everything, returns, always
to the silence from which we came,

and whatever hollow sound
we might imagine from which
nothingness issues we find that
we perpetuate by discovering
ourselves emerging again from within.