Fire and Ice
Deteriorated, it wasn’t working anymore, hadn’t worked for a long time.
I did all I could.
Days pass, clear, windy.
Worn ways discarded, not an easy process
To let go of the friendly, broken old.
But stability, if not solace, is wanted around the house.
Move on with new tools for success acquired at some personal expense.
Then the wait while one makes oneself ready: exercising,
Watching for signs, willing the gods to bring an occasion, a moment.
One snowy day you get the signal. You make your way through the day,
Setting anticipation aside as surely unimportant, but still . . .
You drive carefully home, torn between going fast and slow on ice.
You slip into the drive, as if it were a routine homecoming,
Allowing excitement to mount. Who’s to know?
Preliminaries go uncelebrated, it’s been so long. . .
It’s been so long.
You reach, you touch.
Tilt, lean, winter coat still on,
The long hardness finally in your cool hands.
You push forward with your hips.
The weight, the angle, the thrust register at some sub-intellectual level.
Even as you try not to compare, you notice the subtlest idiosyncrasy.
You, too, respond differently
In grip, in legs, to compensate for shape.
The rhythm is strange. You take time out to think.
A wide swath, wider and longer with this one,
Touchy with that metal attachment across the tip
Jabbing at every crack in the sidewalk.
Lurch. A sudden halt of momentum. Readjust, reposition and go again.
Systematically, cleanly, the snow is pressed ahead, a satisfying path.
This hefty new shovel will take some getting used to.
For links to poetry prompts, or if you missed out on what I’m doing for National Poetry Month, check out the first post here.
You can also find all the poems that have been posted so far here.
To end each post, there will be this call to share your own work. Whether it’s something that you write as soon as you finish reading this post, or it’s a poem you’ve posted or had published, place the whole poem in the comments or put a link to it. A brief description before the link will help me process comments faster, so I know they’re not spam.
Also, feel free to share links to poems or spoken word performances by other poets. I hope this month will bring a wide variety of poetry to everyone’s attention. Also, there will be posts on my author Facebook page, a link to which can be found on the right-hand side, that will include spoken word performances and links to work of other poets, which will not appear here.