Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mid-Valley Winter

Scraping windshields in the morning,
watching the frigid Santiam pour
itself into the northbound Willamette,
and worrying about flood stages.

Counting the days between sun breaks
and moments of seeing all things clearly
through freshly scrubbed air –
Cascades glittering in the daylight,
every star known to man at night.

The ground turning white every one of four years,
tow-trucks and drippy snow-men appearing
along with no school - lasting for a day or two,
a week at most, until the familiar gray wash returns,
sweeping away the slush. Children returning to class
with brags of height and speed and very close calls.

Sitting by windows pretending you want the gray to go away
so you can begin to enjoy all of the complaining
about the heat of spring and the swelter of summer.
Reading, thinking you should write a memoir, coffee,
closing your eyes and remembering all of the green.


Poetry Quarterly - Fall 2011
Reprinted in The Houseboat (Featured poet No. 3).

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