If you can't bring yourself to build
a snowman or even to clench
a snowball or two to fling
at the pine tree trunk, at least
find some reason to take you out
of yourself: scrape a patch of grass clear
for the birds maybe; prod at your shrubs
so they shake off the weight, straighten up;
or just stump about leaving prints
of your boots, your breath steaming out.
Promise. Don't let yourself in
for this moment again: the end
of the afternoon, drawing the curtains
on the glare of the garden, a whole
day of snow nobody's trodden.
from The Man Alone: New and Selected Poems (Smith Doorstop, 2008), first published in Permission to Breathe (Smith Doorstop, 2001), © Michael Laskey 2001, used by permission of the author and The Poetry Business.