Nancy Willard

Nancy Willard
The Snow Arrives After Long Silence
The snow arrives after long silence
from its high home where nothing leaves
tracks or strains or keeps time.
The sky it fell from, pale as oatmeal,
bears up like sheep before shearing.

The cat at my window watches
amazed. So many feathers and no bird!
All day the snow sets its table
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The Migration of Bicycles
I have seen them flash among cars or lean
so low into the curved wrist of the road
to brake would kill them, yet a whole pack
will stand for hours in the rain

yoked to each other, chained to the rack
till the shops close. I have seen
them balanced on one foot like a clam,
the front wheel turned, at ease. It waits
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How to Stuff a Pepper
Now, said the cook, I will teach you
how to stuff a pepper with rice.

Take your pepper green, and gently,
for peppers are shy. No matter which side
you approach, it's always the backside.
Perched on green buttocks, the pepper sleeps.
In its silk tights, it dreams
of somersaults and parsley,
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The Vanity of the Dragonfly
The dragonfly at rest on the doorbell—
too weak to ring and glad of it,
but well mannered and cautious,
thinking it best to observe us quietly
before flying in, and who knows if he will find
the way out? Cautious of traps, this one.
A winged cross, plain, the body straight
as a thermometer, the old glass kind
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