First Snow

When snow fell at night, it was her future
decided in hushed tones outside the room where
she slept, so in the morning when she rose

her world had been swapped, swivelled like
a set in a play, permitting her (as she stepped
out) to witness watery sun, wanly indisposed

behind gauzy cloud, fuzzy sparrow footprints
in grass, bronzed beech leaves doffing frozen caps,
black branches proffering fingers to be iced…

Snow seeped through her shoes like a growing
suspicion as she marvelled from the step, for
the first-time hearing things distinct: the clatter

of cutlery on a plate, flurry of cold wings overhead,
the stop-start-stutter of the neighbour’s car, all round
the white, breathy silence into which everything fell.



Bern Butler’s work has featured in Force 10, Ropes Anthology, The Galway Review, Vox Galvia, North West Words, The Blue Nib,, Abridged 0-60, The Ireland Chair of Poetry. She holds an MA in Writing (NUIG).