fiction, poetry & more


by Roberta Cooks

As this year of pandemic
Drags to a close,
Fear, pain and loneliness 
Wrapped in masks
And thick dark clothes,
In roars a Nor’easter
With its blanket of snow

To our ancestors, the Gods
Would be at war
Warm air from Mexico
Marching full force
towards Canadian cold,
Miles high collisions
Of water and weather
No humans can arrange
Or control

In the face of such raw
Thunderous power
Time now to sit,
Press nose to glass,
Wind whipping branches,
Trace the snowflakes
As they swirl, then spin
Float and pass 

How quickly they land
And settle in layers
Finer than lace or white veil
Cover every rock, tree 
clump of grass, brick, metal
In such soft, light blankets, 
Such gentle sloping hills

The mutterings of men,
The fear of illness
Buried by these armfuls 
Of glittering snow
Silenced by its bite
On the cheeks, sharp
Sting on the tongue 

And for this day I rest easy
Cut off by these wind driven
Forces I don’t understand,
Watching white flakes 
Move in slow motion,
Covering grass, bare trees
A whole coastline,
How gently they land

Roberta Cooks studied writing at Oberlin College and received her MFA in creative writing from Boston University. Her poems have appeared in Field Magazine and other small publications. She published a children’s book while in medical school and has spent most of her career designing and developing exhibitions for science museums on topics ranging from AIDS to the brain and dinosaurs. During Covid she returned to the joy of writing poems to make sense of this world.

March 2023