By Katie Chicquette Adams
Six inches last night, the heavy, wet kind.
Every branch coated with puffy white.
It dazzles the eyes, awakens them from the gloom
of yesterday’s steel gray snow-sky, darkening
the day even sooner than usual. The overlapping
branches weave an intricate yet sturdy lace
across the yards. They mesmerize; I cannot resist
acknowledging the beauty, the novelty, the bright
seasonal alternative to curled-up, dry, brown, gray.
But he can. He will scoff if any of us dares to call this
view pretty; he will say he cannot do anything but hate
it, a reminder of what winter really is, of the endless chore
that is relocating the snow to create some approximation
of mobility. I don’t deny the annoyance; I will cuss in a rush
as I shovel past the time I should have left for work.
I will fret as I pump the brakes in icy slush, worry
that I am about to fishtail into yet another dilapidated mini-van.
I will miss the sun, the green, the clear sidewalks for long
walks. And yet, I can see the temporary artistry of branches
bowed toward the earth in wintry prayer. After long stretches
behind the boxy, heavy snowblower, snow-spray whipping
his cheeks, he cannot. It is a cold reminder of how he also sees
me. Who I am now blocks the view of whom he loved then,
and there is no explaining this away. To see me as I am
is to see only the bad weather that swept into our hearts,
and it never looks pretty from any angle, in any light.
Katie is an educator and writer in Appleton, WI. Her work has most recently appeared in First Review East, Bramble, Wallopzine, and Spadina Literary Review. She is a live storyteller and emcee with Storycatchers, Inc. and works as an English teacher for at-risk young adults at a public alternative high school, with hopes they will remake their own stories, and become friendly with at least one poem.