Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a god-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.
The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.
“Boy at the Window” by Richard Wilbur
Oh, that dear boy at the window and the tender heart of the “man of snow” is enough to bring a tear to even the coldest of hearts. The “man of snow: in the poem touched by the caring of the little boy, but, the snowman in the picture has a look of terror. Armed. One can almost hear him panting in fear; can almost see his exhausted breath steaming out of his carrot nose. There is a sound, in the distance, nearing the snowman’s hiding spot behind an ancient tree.
Closer. Louder. Snow flying everywhere; a panic of flakes and ice and . . .
(The poem, of course, is by Richard Wilbur and is called Boy at the Window. The images are from a note card, purchased a few years ago at a local shop. They are by a local photographer, whose name I do not know, though I have seen the actual model of the snowman, once, two years ago, on a snowy street, not far from a perfectly plowed suburban drive. I would love to acknowledge the photographer if he or she should see this.)