Six More Weeks
It takes him three tries to get to the story,
his odyssey, 500 miles to forecast the rest of the winter.
Cold and dark, deprivation of sound
and the angled stimulus he is accustomed to.
I hear the sink and splash in the background.
We are both Sunday dish-doers,
lives lived in the rush of singles
scampering across any available floor,
any outing to avoid the solitude.
He tells it like it was, abbreviating the hours
I would have lost hope in,
endless drive across the flat highways,
the boxy hills of Pennsylvania where
many of my ancestors dug,
and still dig in their quiet blooming.
He describes the one-eyed pioneer,
getting her fix from a private flask,
at her station at a hometown dive,
and I picture short-haired discouragement,
flailing at air for the tourist cameras,
her weekend routine disturbed by the groundhog's carousing.
He melts by the bonfire,
counts the teeth of the locals with one mittened hand,
air a solid mass of cold and beer and silk high hats,
and I laugh, and the futon beneath me
slides from its slick pine frame.
My day is for paperwork, poetry,
sorting socks and cotton panties.
We have six more weeks, according to Phil,
before we are obligated to move
our homemaking efforts to the outside.
I have only seconds, odd surrenders of faith
to make it mean something.
I have only the hint of a shadow
to drive me on.