I am happiest when it snows. I am
forced in, then inward.
Once inward, I don’t just think of myself, but of how
difficult and even life-threatening snow has been on women:
Women of days past, Russian farmers, Scandinavian mothers,
of my pioneer ancestors, and gold rush whores.
Snow is my perfection, but I am not fooled.
The snow sparkles, cleanses even the ugliest of sights,
takes trash out of the picture.
I want to write. I want to read poetry and the
classics. Then write.
Instead, I watch as writers often do.
Elias and Anika, my children, still fight, and yes, there are wet foot
prints in my kitchen, down the hall. Now wet towels, gloves,
and the layers of clothes added to the piles of laundry.
Forget the dirty dishes, in the dishwasher, sink, counters. They want cocoa with
marshmallows and whipped cream. This luxury of and foreign to my childhood.
I make it for them, for me, as my mother made hot chocolate for me with
marshmallows if we had them. If I’d ask for three, she’d give four.
Elias and Anika catch snowflakes
with their tongues eating their dinner, desert, even say,
“I am eating snowflakes,”
believing that life is magical, and snowflakes are to be consumed like salmon,
tangerines, candy canes, and love.
Elias says snowflakes aren’t flat like the ones we make in school.
Anika says I am not cold, refusing to take her tutu off to put on snow pants.
They make snow angels, not caring if snow gets down their coats,
wet their hair, freeze her bare legs; or if the angels’ wings are lopsided, broken.
They make snow angels because they know angels are real,
the snow their reflections.
As the light hits the snow everything sparkles, makes beautiful
the few leaves still on the oaks,
on an overturned toy, a forgotten beer bottle,
last year’s zinnias, Elias’s cheeks,
Anika’s eyes. Everything.
It will melt, soon, too soon. This is a valley in California.
The snow is heavy, wet.
The branches bend from the weight.
Hold on. Hold on.