By Victor Howes
Stiff in the park the statuary stands:
Roses are red in summer, red and vital.
We stray among them, visiting bright lands;
Winter brings statuary its requital.
Then granite fingers stretch out icy shoots;
Bare sandstone heads sprout garlands of new snow;
White drifts incorporate the marble boots
Of generals. Equestrian bronze figures grow
Thick manes and broader tails. Our winter eye,
Refocused, centers where a mantle blooms
Across Niobe’s shoulders. Hidden lie
The roses: snow screens cover up their names.
From Thoughts after Spenser by Victor Howes. Cambridge: Harvard Book Store, 2016. Copyright © Victor Howes.