We dug a canal through our street in '93.
Schools closed, our eyes were
awake to the eleven o'clock sun
for the first time since January;
it reflected so strongly, we turned
our ski masks around backwards.
Our only other equipment: wool
mittens and grocery store bags
wrapped around our feet.
Erie at my side door, Albany at the end of the street,
we dug all afternoon, building a lock at Mr. Clinton's
driveway. When we reached Cayuga in Grampa's
front yard, a swamp fever of soggy gloves killed
our dream of uniting the neighborhood.
Now, that day is a shoeful of powder
dusting the floormat at the foot of the
stairs where I dropped my nylon boots;
the best part of me died in Cincinnati
when I threw them away, knowing they
would be useless where I was going.
Shovels and snowblowers, indifferent
as the St. Lawrence, phased out our canal
years ago — nothing left but a ski mask
in the bushes
at Mr. Clinton's.
I take up in my bare hands what remains,
marry it to the drift at Grampa's.
|Date created||01 Oct 2007|
|Date modified||01 Oct 2007|
|Journal||Phoenix Literary Arts Magazine (Dec 2007)|