It was the year I quit coffee,
five years after booze
and four years after cigarettes.
I shoveled the whole driveway
in a January blizzard
and my middle-aged, momentarily
made not a murmur of protest.
I felt like a righteous Mormon,
Brigham Young on the edge of the desert.
I wanted to go back in the house
and make another baby with you
But it was past time for that.
Susanna bundled out to help
plowing though snow almost to her waist.
We heard crows complaining overhead
as they always do in snow.
A bluejay hopped by, ignoring us,
and chickadees screamed
at the feeder across the street.
It suddenly struck her,
"Haven't they gone south yet?'
I told her that some stay all year.
She finished a path
with her bright red shovel
and went inside.
In a minute I felt tired
and wanted a smoke.
I watched the snowfall slow
and collect on my glasses.
I caught for a moment that smell
of wet childhood winters,
stamped my boots
and started on the cars.
(Previously published in Soundings East.)
James Hannon is a husband, father of
three and psychotherapist in Massachusetts. After twenty years
as a professor he is finally free to write what he wants and
when he wants. Publications include poems or non-fiction in
Changing Men, Cold Mountain Review, Sahara, Soundings East ,
Thorny Locust, and Willard and Maple.