Snowfall at the Summer Palace – Poem by Cameron Morse

Poetry by Cameron Morse

Groundskeepers beat down the docks
along Kunming Lake with besoms. Snow blows
into my face. I reach down to adjust
Theo’s stocking cap and hood in the harness

strapped to my chest. Walking into the wind,
there’s little I can do to avert his face
from the blast. Thickening flakes
and finally clumps catch in his eyelashes.

I clutch his head to my chest, the other hand
tucked below his bottom. The wind that is blowing
the snow into me carries hundreds of women
in dark winter coats and fur-lined hoods

heading the other direction where men unfold
tripods below the leafless yellow lashes
of the willows; couples peer through telescope lenses
toward the far bank, the blizzard’s white blanket.


About the Poet

Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, and South Dakota Review. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His second, Father Me Again, is available from Spartan Press and third, Coming Home with Cancer, belongs to Blue Lyra Press’s Delphi Poetry Series. He lives with his wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he manages Inklings’ FOURTH FRIDAYS READING SERIES with Eve Brackenbury and serves as poetry editor for Harbor Review. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.  

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