given this
snow flies and drifts
against the night

years of mountain winter
               lie on a white meadow

a pigtailed girl of four
in her sled on the roof
               laughs and slides
          into always arriving
     and white hair 

given this
     white blessing
she does not forget

nor forgets the lives beforeó 
          this little Tibet
               in the Sierra

© December 1998 Leslye Layne Russell

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