If I Had To Live My Life Again

Linda Pastan

If I had to live
my life again,
I would work only
in black and white.
I think of Degas’ words
as the snow continues
to fall, blanking out
the green earth,
bleaching the sky,
until only the black
shadows of buildings
are left and the wet trunks
of trees, darkened
with cold.
This is the death
of color. Winter
is slamming its door
on the heart, and soon
nothing will remain
but beauty-
the austere line
of charcoal moving
across white paper,
of boot prints engraved
upon new snow.

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