Almost a foot of snow fell last night, and this morning’s best-laid plans were tossed away when the plowman’s tires spun more quickly than the clock which told me I’d be late for class. Machines did what machines do, a little better than we can do ourselves.
Here’s to shovels shoveling.
Waiting for the Plowman
In the morning: Rousseau’s Confessions. Breakfast:
something forgettable and unfulfilling, toast,
the white of an egg circling a shiny yolk.
By midday, the desert of chalk buries the laurel
and watching juncos burrow under the feeder
suffices for motion. Blank under its plastic face
the kitchen dial signals two o’clock with sleek
anemic hands. Within the hour, sugar held
in the spoon’s mouth is let go into black liquid,
and boots, scuffed and sheltered alert the tangled
knit scarf to concoct itself. At four, shovel in hand
I depart to do the job myself. The man
and his truck are nowhere to be found
even though the blizzard’s end is new
and he promised and there is a lot of it.
Lighter than a pile of proverbial feathers
but sticky and heaping, the first bundle I take
begins to build a dune around the driveway
but there is nowhere else to go and no rest
and nothing to do to lessen the white
except to bend at the knees and let it fly.
“Waiting for the Plowman” first appeared in the summer 2016 issue of Sixfold, and will appear in my forthcoming collection Mouthbrooders, coming out this summer from Homebound Publications.