Painting by Claude Monet, 1865;

Poem by Salvatore Buttaci, 1994

The road under snow we ought best

not to complain about!

Yet we do so every winter, don't we?

You say the jostling ride hurts

your back or the old horse is too slow

or that I see so poorly I cannot avoid

the rocks jutting in our path.


As for me, I detest leaving our home

where a burning fireplace kept us safe and warm.

Begrudgingly, we voyage here these kilometers

to spend the holidays with your parents

and with mine.


Why not instead look at this adventure

with a different eye!

Directly ahead of us or sideways

at the houses, the farms, the drifts of snow,

and think good thoughts to while away the time.

My dear, what can we expect?

It is winter after all.

In winter it snows.

Sometimes it snows quite heavily.


The same trees you admired when they were

in green bloom you now disown because

their leaves are gone, because snow freezes

the branches from which hang like fruit

heavy ice jewels.


I look to the snow-laden rooftops, and

see the grey smoke puff from chimneys.

A hint of laughter from inside those houses

makes me envy the comfortable who wait

for their holiday meal.

But, no!  We mustn't waste our time this way!

In Honfleur our old parents count the minutes

of these two hours as if we two were sent

from heaven--some angelic visitation.

They love us so!


And what will become of us

when our children are grown and move away?

The holidays will mean so little

if we are to celebrate them alone.

Will they come?

Or will they on an inclement day like this

prefer to pity the horse,

leave their cart beneath the canvass,

and snuggle at their fireplace?

Or will they sit behind closed windows,

laugh and shake their heads 

at weary-horse drawn carts like ours

skidding through heavy snowfall?




The above poem first appeared in my book Impressions: 13 French-Painting Poems (Saddle Brook, NJ: New Worlds Unlimited), 18-21.

Salvatore Buttaci’s two collections of flash fiction 200 Shorts and Flashing My Shorts are both published by All Things That Matter Press and are available in book and Kindle editions at  






His new book If Roosters Don’t Crow, It Is Still Morning: Haiku and Other Poems  







Buttaci lives in West Virginia with Sharon, the love of his life. 






















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