Photo of Snow in the Suburbs
The snow that began the night before fell far into the day,
leaving just enough time as the moon rises,
so we can take in some of that utter whiteness
before the cars are unshovelled and their leavings get stirred in
with all the other mess humans can make.
But for now, the snow tops the neighbor-evergreens
like a row of strollered infants in sun bonnets sleeping softly at the park;
streets still glisten where the plows haven’t hit bottom
and left a coat of ice for tomorrow morning’s melting;
no one’s out except for us who had been house-bound
and stir-crazy for a night and day of too much TV, too much wine,
and the never quite surpressed fear built into us humans
that we’ll never get anywhere again.
But here on the street the air seems cleaner somehow
that way it gets after some little cold sun
warms everything just enough to help our lungs work easy
and make us swear we’ll swear off drink and the great indoors.
You say you want to try to get a picture of it all—
the moon, the street, the snow caps, the air, the evergreens—
and you climb to the top of the pile of snow some shoveling’s made
into a modest mountain. Always the arbiter of what’s impossible,
I’d tell you it can’t be done, but you’re determined
and I wait patiently at the door instead of rushing inside where I’d prefer.
There’s no danger out tonight—by now plenty of moonlight–
even the raccoons that get more brazen each night
are tucked beneath the porches and into our basement wells.
I too want to take it all in, as you angle for that picture–
destined never to be looked at again,
you know I would be happy to say.
But mine would just be you
and I will keep it in memory’s well where
what’s truly impossible might find the perfect place
where it can permanently reside.
by Alan Walowitz
Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim