There were two massive winter storms that year,
two weeks apart. The second, termed the Blizzard,
dumped feet of snow on remnants of the first.

They took a month-long chunk out of third grade.
Our front door grudged to open, and the glass
of all our windows bore a brilliant frosting.

The governor addressed the public, wearing
a different sweater each day. The rest of us
discovered communion in our common lot:

walking in streets few cars could navigate,
wielding our shovels, building our snowmen,
searching for anyone who was selling milk.

Some coastal towns got ocean-water flooding
on top of snow and brutal winter wind.
Inland, a boy died, buried beneath the drifts.

A year older than me. Ten to my nine.
Peter. I remember his first name.


Six in the Morning

Six in the morning. February. Coffee.
I stand at the cold porch door and look out on
the brooding sapphire of the foredawn sky
pregnant with deep blue light that pales and shines
toward the horizon, where the tops of trees
like scriptures in an inscrutable alphabet
imprint themselves on the margin of the day.

Stones in the neighboring graveyard
begin to whiten and become distinct;
traffic percolates through nearby streets:
sparrows sing crisp matins in the chill.

There is a gentle splendor in these hours
before the sun blares and commuters rush,
before St. Agnes’ bells ring Angelus.

Yesterday marked the first day in a week
I did not see your face or hear your voice.