Red Tulip in Snow

Tulip in the Snow

Driving the highway
in the grey washed-out winter noon,
without warning
the thought assaults me.
If I could paint, I think,
I would paint
a glistening field of diamond-bright white,
not the snow of this highway shoulder,
not this snow
pock-marked with road salt,
and the black ink
of dissolving tire tread,
not this snow
looking like a scar
from the slice of a bread knife
through the face
of an old man whose acne
never quite ended decades ago.
A glistening field of diamond-bright white
and, in one distant corner,
a single red tulip.

(By C. Eric Funston)