Though he must have longed for summer gardens
at Giverny, hot light flaring off water-glazed lilies,
Monet did not abandon work in winter
seated outdoors at his easel in several overcoats
and scarves to record swiftly in broad strokes
with a reduced palette the many “effets de neige.”
Great chunks of milky ice clog a slate-blue Seine.
After a thaw runny melts of muddy beige
and grey fill the ruts along a dirt road. New snow
gleams like gold in noon light. In a rural scene
distant poplars rise like plumes of dingy smoke
under a late afternoon sky of numbing pewter
where a fading sun frozen in the stilled time
of art holds the long, cold night forever at bay.