Tag Archives: snow

Slippers in the Snow

She wears slippers in the snow
Her ankles are raw and red and angry
Her smile fades as she puffs out thin steam
Across the frozen air between them

She wears slippers in the snow
Grey slush as cruel as her childhood
She remains defiant of the weather
The weather remains indifferent to her

And her slippers in the snow

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Across the Road

It was hardly a silent night when the pregnant crystal snowflakes fell about – between the moonbeams and streetlights. Each descending its own path of least resistance – like the swollen tear that ran down your cheek and settled in your ear as you cried yourself to sleep.

I tried to call to you from where I stood on the decaying wooden staircase but my words were muffled by the downy mist. I watched you shiver – the snow clinging to your eyelashes – little bursts of air spilling forth from the thin space between your thin lips.

I called out your name again, my cold red hands cupped to the sides of my mouth. My breath’s steam carried your fragile name and nestled it into your frozen red ears.

The night finally fell completely – leaving only the naked sun over your left shoulder. It burned my eyes and made me close them tightly. The brilliant reflection off of each blade of each snowflake danced – pink – across my eyelids.

for Cindy…

After Phil’s Party

There is something deceiving about how the stark snow-whipped highway
Pulls me away from the safety of your arms – the warm of your embrace
There is a lie in her eyes – in the sparkling streetlights that guide me home
They promise me safe passage but what they deliver is distance between us

The heater in my car dries my lips making them sting and crack
Music pours out of the stereo not so much mollifying as stupefying me
Someone else found the words – the keys to unlock what I need to say to you
If I tried to speak now – you would laugh – and I wouldn’t blame you

My soul feels like that bending spread of Interstate 94 heading into the city
It is lonely tonight and cold and no one seems to notice it – not tonight
You could have taken a minute or an hour or whatever time you wanted
The road would have waited for you like she always does – and always will

19 December 2004
4:26

Then You Walked Away

The music goes around and around your once sweaty head – your hair now icicles
And you stand here with one thought dripping unevenly from your tongue
Your mind feels like a bad mistake you can’t take back now – a punch line they never got
Tonight for a brief shard in your fractured timetable you were – that’s all; you were
She brought it all back to you and them before you said good-bye – before the snow
Then you walked away – leaving her in the big red room with laughs and rum but not you
Then you walked away – leaving her in the winter night that meant so little to so many

The music goes round and round and you are alone and she is alone – you walked away

To the Window Washer on Addison Street in the Snow

Red knit Chicago Bulls hat pulled low and a tan corduroy jacket
He don’t know nothin’ bout no Saint Paddy – no how
Today is another day for work – those windows ain’t gonna wash themselves

Money is hard – too hard for a green hat and a green shirt and some green beer
There’s babies at home and school and bread and peanut butter and soap
Don’t understand a day they celebrate a girl peeing in the alley behind a 7-11

Don’t nobody work no more?

The snow came without warning and everyone is shivering in their leggings
Sweet Swinging Billy Williams and Ron Santo are not even fazed by the cold white swirl
This snow is gonna be real bad for business – who wants to look out into that
Catch the Red Line home and there might be time for the news or a ball game or the lottery numbers

Thinking of You

The first cold burst froze the sweat on my brow
as I stepped out – leather squeaking – snow crunching
somewhere a dog in a yard barked at nothing
a siren whistled past the front of the house
I thought of you for a moment

I saw you in that black sweater
The one with the pearls on the front
You were wearing that black felt skirt
And your shiny Paul Simon shoes

I took a step
Looking down
I took one more step

For Dawson

I bought a gilded gold picture frame with skeletal fish the day it snowed so bad
One dozen dollar store chocolate covered cherries and I feel so good and I feel so bad
My new blue sweater catches each falling snowflake – his jokes fall too – it isn’t the same
Hollow and hungry aren’t always the same thing – but sometimes they feel the same

Sometimes we look for answers where there are none – tenacious – we need to know
My father gave me curiosity – my mother gave me tenacity – this much I know
The dollar store by the old theater is a great place to leave the things that trouble you
Sometimes in the toy aisle – sometimes with the corn chips – they won’t even charge you

The snow has done its magical best tonight to paralyze the city who loves it best
My lovely cat licks white lumps from between the treads of my shoe – she loves the best
Another night when the people who care are put to the test and they all pass
Art – and memories of another life – will endure all – everything else will pass