Winter Sky

By Mark Belair

The cloud cover
holds, for the moment,

looming snow
as an old man, leaning on

his cane, approaches
from down a long country lane,

his dark coat
tight to his throat, its angled collar

raised to his wool cap,
his beard

the same
tarnished silver

as the threatening

Then he stops and looks up
as if to take measure

of where he is
and how far he has to go

and how soon the sky
will unload

its cold weight, his
bearded face

blending into
the heavens

so vanishing,
his dark

winter clothes
an empty shell.


Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His most recent collection is Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015). Previous collections include Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. For more information, please visit

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