Stephen Ruffus: “A Changed Man Regards Winter”


He awakens in the dark as his father had.
Neither silence nor the cold disturbs him.
There is much yet to do. To him,
though the infinite is in constant whirl,
he feels its presence every day, in the hand.
The perpetual indifference of whiteness,
of the open ended, cuts little truth for him.

He has stored his words in places where only
his son will find them when the time comes.
He will know. Long ago, he took up arms
against sorrow and shame, prepared a place
for him banishing all dominion of regret
to release him forever from its hold.

The moon has risen just in time.
A lost bird calls out in the darkness.
We have come to a truth. We watch, listen,
keeping understanding for ourselves,
father to son, and father to son again.

for Nick

Stephen Ruffus teaches at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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