St. Paul, Minnesota
Returning from a walk, we reach our house and see the light
burst a hole through the living
room window, sidewalks and roads glazed with ice,
I look up at mother, watch the snow
rest on her eyelashes.
Around us, the snowblowers and snowplow-trucks begin
once more, another morning.
My father’s part of the crew as well.
In the distance, a train just visible above the treetops.
The women enter the house,
stay there. Wanting to help my father, I go in,
change into snowpants, then run back outside,
hop toward my shovel,
which is leaning against empty pots and the gutter.
It has a plastic red blade, like a matchstick—
In this scene, like others
to come, I am a child up to no good.
See for yourself: how I grab the shiny handle,
how unevenly the yard ignites.