BY FELICITY SHEEHY
It’s snowed twice now: once, the deep blue
of kettle flames, that keeps the plow out late;
the other, the stuff of a thousand names,
snow-day snow, sledding snow, that caps
the mailboxes, swallows up the cars.
On Porter Hill, the lovers carved their names
in ice, and schoolgirls brought brown boxes
and laundry bins to send shooting down
the road. By the church, the Duffys wrapped
their snowman in a scarf, then lay on the ground
for what seemed like hours, making angels.
I walked around in wet boots, worried that
you were cold, though of course you weren’t.
Somehow, the diner stayed open, and the dog
and I wandered in, knocking off snow.
Paul glanced up from the game, briefly,
and Nancy brewed a pot of coffee. I watched
the grounds surface and sink in my cup.
Everywhere, our neighbors kept skating
over their little lives, like lakes. I didn’t
know what to make of it. The whole walk
home, past the houses, doubling and doubling
with Christmas lights, there was something
I couldn’t name. Whatever it was, it’s what
made the deer meet my gaze, later that night,
before she ran. It’s why the dog, on the front
step, stopped for a moment, to sniff the air.