February 2001

Barbara Daniels


Barbara Daniels' chapbook, The Woman Who Tries to Believe, won the Quentin R. Howard Prize from Wind Publications. Her poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, The Seattle Review, Poet Lore, and Slant, as well as elsewhere. She has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and completed an MFA in poetry at Vermont College. 
The Names of Snow   

The year she was 33 she thought she was 34,
so she has to live that year again,
bored as a wolf at the zoo.

She reads at night, wakes when the neighbors
pitch themselves into the apartment pool,
thin dolls in tiny suits.

From her balcony she sees the tops of cars fade
and peel and wishes a scarf of rain
would drop through the roaring light.

Brandishing scissors, snapping their blades,
she's proved there is no God,
every newspaper vivid with evidence.

Clocks whir in their tiny voices.
Heat burns the grass to nothing.
She rubs a square of silk across her lips.

In the north, snouts of glaciers burst
with dirty water. Tongues of ice
survive the summer's melting.

Once from a parked car she watched
the building night man dance with a woman
in an empty storage room. Arcing their bodies,

one led, then the other, both of them awkward,
unbeautiful. Fine snow, powder, fell
through a yellow net cast by lit windows.

In the hottest hours she repeats the names
of snow: firn, corn snow, graupel, sastruga.
Struga, a chasm anyone could fall down into.



Barbara Daniels: Poetry
Copyright � 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 15The Cortland Review