Shards and Winter
45 minutes straight up hill then to the right, dodging inconsiderate snow piles, left by home owners either obtuse or mean spirited. Certainly someone will have to walk here and the dangerous ice, all three inches of it, cannot be easily avoided.
I walk in the street, occasionally grabbing snow from large shoveled piles. Remembering a time when I had not only speed, but accuracy, my first few throws are woefully off target and short. I feel old, looking out over the snow covered valley. Everything was different before, like always, but this particular day is black and white over my head, color on the horizon. I like how it looks and steal a photograph, but it refuses to show what I see until I filter it (heavy black/gray clouds, yellow slivers in the distance).
I decide to try again. Large snow ball in my right hand, I squeeze it tightly, water rushing down my fingers and to the pavement. My first target, a manhole cover. I hit three inches short, but this is better. The next snow globe lands directly on the double yellow center line and I am pleased. A final throw at a tar line and my aim is true, The snow explodes in fragments and I am reminded of other days like this, snow in my sleeves and down my shoes, warming my fingers on Christmas lights, hiding in the heavy fog of another cold February.
I see my 14 year old self, walking deep out along the tilled furrows into the field. Closing my eyes, I dig my foot into the soil and spin, spin, spin until I feel the vomit pushing itself up. I fall to the ground, half lying, half sitting one elbow propping me up. Open my eyes and look around. I can hear the sounds of the road to the South, but as soon as I am certain, the fog shifts the vibrations and I am no longer as convinced of direction. Even the shadows play off each other and I am certain this will be the death of me.
Then I see them, hiding behind a berm near the canal. My friends. I pretend not to notice them. They laugh.