First Snow

The light of snow kindles the house across the street,
red brick redder, white trim dazzling, even the thin
dead branches of the spirea

arcing beneath my window shine with veins of rust
and lavender, a light that spelled fun when I was a child,
spilling white and unnatural

through barely opened shutters and making me leap
out of bed.  I could not be contained.  That instant
glee, that joy, inexplicable today. 

And as I got dressed, I’d become aware of the cries
of the other children playing outside, and couldn’t wait,
couldn’t wait to go.

I was no good at those games, couldn’t hold my own
against the boys and their stacks of balls, their superior
position on the Ledge. 

Yet, I wouldn’t stay in, and the joy of snow, the first
of winter, was in no way diminished by the outcome. 
I would go out and in no time

my woollen gloves would be soaked, my feet damp
through leather shoe-boots, but I delayed as long
as I could going back in,

as I’d been warned, to avoid chilblains on hands
and feet, which I’d get, inevitably, and suffer through
like another childhood disease.


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