This week’s poem offers a different way to think about the snowstorms of the last few weeks. Here, a storm helps the speaker remember “all those snowfalls an occasion / for falling together.” Here, a storm’s “soft blue light” reminds him to praise his longtime love and revel in the ways their love has changed over the years. The poem’s title refers both to the season of the year and to the season of the speaker’s life.

Martin Steingesser is the author of three books, “Brothers of Morning,” “The Thinking Heart” and “Yellow Horses.” He has taught poetry in and around Maine for many years and was Portland’s first poet laureate.

Winter Blue

By Martin Steingesser

Standing at the window

half the afternoon, watching snow fall,

fall and fall in a soft blue light. How many

have I watched this way? Never mind

the shoveling-out days, snow going

from avenues of clouds to gritty streets.

I’m thinking of our whiteout storms,

our first, all those snowfalls an occasion

for falling together—ribald love. Ribald,

from Old High German, to be in heat:

copulate, Merriam Webster says, to rub.

The wind’s blowing hard now, trees

and branches arching, pushing back,

black silhouettes in the last ink blue

light. Fifteen years, and I go on loving

loving you, though more like the trees.

To rub, yes, with a slowness now,

rubbing like close trees, with a patience

for certain winds, leaning

into years, the long, bluing nights.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is Portland’s poet laureate. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2017 Martin Steingesser. It appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to

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