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This poem was submitted for the "Poetry for the Mind's Joy" project and is reproduced here with permission from the author. All rights reserved. Poetry for the Mind's Joy is Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's project that includes a community college poetry contest administered by the Community College Humanities Association and a lively videoconference.

With quietness the ice diamonds fall
Each leaf of cloud falling toward its end
I with my cold cheeks against the wind
Listening . . . listening

In the thick silence
Save for wind and cold, groaning tree
I stand alone against the white
Listening . . . listening

Time travels slowly if at all
The sun shows itself none too often
My eyes rarely greet it as I walk alone
Listening . . . listening

The tall, white skydirt
Covering all things that move slowly
I too am overtaken by its continual fall
Listening . . . listening

The sound of shattering water from the tree branches
Cracks for a moment the holy silence
I open my moist eyes for a moment
Listening . . . listening

The cold grips the land silently
With a grand union it binds with it
A tear falls from my wind-burned face
Listening . . . listening
Always listening . . .

Owensboro Community and Technical College, Owensboro, KY
Faculty Contact: Shannon Collins, Associate Professor of English