Frozen fast
to their stems,
the snowdrops

are small bells
without clappers, songs
without words.

The namesakes
of blizzard
and flake,

they hang
their white

over the slow
death of winter.

Linda Pastan has published 11 books of poems, most recently The Last Uncle. She served as Poet Laureate of Maryland for 4 years and was on the staff of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference for 20 years. Her collection Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 was a finalist for the National Book Award.