by Ada Hoffmann

Borne on the wind in a tumble of frost,
as worthy of notice as a white speck
in a whitening sky, I will glide.
I will rest, sometimes, in a white hillblanket,
then be tugged up again until, shaking and small,
I am drawn by the tug of desire,
the inevitability of hope, to your door.
To the squat arid shack where you toil,
hopeless, dutiful, parched, in your mantle
of pain. I will float like the seed
of a dandelion, white and small, in through the cracks.
Here is where I will rest, again.
A snowflake on your palm.

Hold me close. I cannot heal you.
But I can be the spark, too small to remark upon,
which you hold in your closed fist
or in an unassuming pendant at your throat.
I can be the tiny bead that runs along your skin
when you grow so thirsty, so wrung
into leathery cords by your work,
that even tiny drops delight you.
Love, I have no strength to break
the shackles at your aching feet.
I am smaller than a raindrop. Nothing
to anyone but you.

I know nothing. I can promise you nothing.
But when I close my eyes, I remember that a snowflake,
resting lightly just so, begins a slow slide
until the mountain in full roars down.
The smallest seed can put out green hesitance
which widens, grows bark, gives shade.
Its roots can wear a boulder into sand.

I do not know
if I am such a seed.
And the world weighs so much.

But you are holding out your hand,
and I am here, for now.
And if you hold me I will hold you,
for as long as we can bear the weight of hope,
of fearful tenderness, of snow.


Ada Hoffmann is an autistic graduate student who lives in southern Ontario trying to teach poetry to computers. You can find her online at or on Twitter at @xasymptote.

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