THE WINTER SHE LEFT FOR TEMPORARY WORK IN KANSAS
While we hunkered down under early storms and frigid air, while
we crunched through days of squeak and bladed wind, while
our windows filled with white and streets became trenches
that locked cars in treacherous battle, as we braved our way
to work and store, she endured
the caress of a warmer wind and pined for northeast cold.
While we emerged from one collective heave of ice only
to be plunged into the next harrowing dump of snow, while
we trailed with docility behind lumbering rust yellow plows,
praising the salt they tossed, the trembling feeble paths they made
she brushed her hair in sunlight
and dreamt of catching snowflakes on her tongue.
While we peered out of caked, bleak eyes, our boldness
eroded, our skin weary of bracing, our lank arms stuffed
into padded sleeves of defeat, she flew home to our dusted-over
dirty white and rejoiced at the forecast of the next day’s storm.
“I love to shovel!” she exclaimed.
“I missed the snow!” she swooned. We silently killed her.
Carol Graser hosts a monthly poetry series at Saratoga Spring’s legendary Caffe Lena that she initiated in 2003. She has taught poetry workshops to teens and at-risk youth. Her work has been published in many literary journals, most recently in I-70 Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Pine Hills Review. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Wild Twist of Their Stems (Foothills Publishing 2007).