I live in Norwalk, Connecticut, with my wife, fellow poet Laurel Peterson, and I am a Professor of English at Manhattanville College. I have published a book of poems, Shiva Dancing (Texture Press, 2007), a chapbook, Between What Is and What Is Not (The Last Automat Press, 2010), and individual poems in various journals.
The night before we left,
a storm dropped powder on the mountain,
laying down a pall so fine
that in the early morning light
it seemed angel's down and linen robes
had come to wrap us for the journey home.
You said, but this is nothing.
I should have seen the sunrise,
pink and gold and pebbled
mounds of pearls piled against the eastern sky.
On the drive south, the snow gave way
to crystal forests, Chihuly chandeliers,
brittle limbs and fingers of blown glass
tossing bits and fragments of fractured light
from mirror to mirror, savage beauty
of fire and ice so fragile
it would shatter to the touch.
Then we rounded a curve
and entered a matted pelt of twigs,
carcass hill of brown,
mere bones of dormant trees.
You said not to worry,
you saw the sunrise and all its pearls.
You're holding them for me.
©2016 Van Hartmann