THE CART: THE ROAD UNDER SNOW IN HONFLEUR by Claude Monet and Sal Buttaci
THE CART: THE ROAD UNDER SNOW IN HONFLEUR
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 http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/sambpoet
His new book If Roosters Don’t Crow, It Is Still Morning: Haiku and Other Poems http://tinyurl.com/76akl73
Buttaci lives in West Virginia with Sharon, the love of his life.