When you’re snowed under,
there’s no getting away from you.
Out of cigarettes,
you search drawers and cubbyholes,
empty butts out of ashtrays,
and roll your own.
The storm is as focused as the hawk
that flies over the chicken coop.
Thoughts like sentence fragments
march around the house,
the thought of what you’d do
to keep from running out.
If you can’t bear the quiet,
imagine yourself deaf, like an old man steeped in it.
Imagine yourself trapped in a house
with an old man who won’t stop talking—
stopped up by memory with no one to listen.
The wind doesn’t count.
The partially-deaf man can bear the wind,
unlike a room full of people.
The wind is an undertone,
like the hum of a furnace.
It circles the sleeping house, unanswered.
The man becomes a boy in his sleep.
The boy who ran down the road
for the pleasure of it.
The boy who could take up any task
That boy wasn’t confined
by his body to memory.
He was making them.
And what about that snowstorm?
Not the ones the old man talks about.
The one here and now,
the one we’ll want to talk about when we’re old.
Ah, but remember . . . nobody will listen.
Write it down so the memory has backbone,
like the sketch found in a drawer
and the note from a teacher of long, long ago.
What a smart boy you were.
I wrote this in a nostalgic mood because Christmas isn't only about merrymaking and then decided to post it for the One Stop Poetry site's One Shot Wednesday. If you've written a poem or even a short story you want to share with the fine folks at One Stop Poetry, follow the link.