Netochka Writes

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The Seasons' City

Each winter the thick snow falls
over each curb and corner
and molds itself to the city.

Come spring, the smooth ice melts
and carries the city’s memory with it,
down the river and out to sea.

Then, the summer rain beats a staccato melody
out across awnings and steepled roofs.
It doesn’t linger long. It's not enough
to remember the buildings’ shape.

The tone of each striking raindrop
fixes itself in the air,
recalling the raw materials
bent into each roof-shape.
They tell the wood from the slate,
from the metal-glass-cement.

Finally, the tired autumn sun rises
and inspects what of the city survived the seasons.
The shadows he can't see are scoured by the harsh winds.
And, before the sun can duck behind the horizon,
those winds rush out to him bringing news of what they found.

Why don't the little living things ever wonder at all this?
How can they not ask, "Why are they studying us?"