Friday, January 07, 2005

Walking to the Post Office on a Winter Afternoon


I think I should have put on my long underwear
as the cold air surrounds my Levi-ed legs
but I am already around the corner of the road
and warming in my down parka with its fake fur trim.
I reach the city (if you can call a town of 6500 a city) limits
where a crazy checkerboard
of sidewalks wait in frozen invitation,
with and without parking strips
some shoveled clear of snow
some trampled by other walkers
one who stamped UGG with every step
My shadow stretches out ahead
as the sun warms my back
maybe it is good that I do not have another layer
The post office is jammed with others who have
letters to mail or P.O. boxes to check before
they hop back in one of the idling pickups
in the parking lot and head home for dinner.
Now I turn towards home having mailed my
excuse for a walk letter
I retrace my waffle steps as my shadow
lingers further and further behind
Deer prints criss cross my path
and a few prints of cross country ski boots.
The sun is quickly disappearing over the mountain
so I stay on the high road instead
of taking the river walk with its ouzels and otters.
Quickly now I pass the golf course with its
single skier skating across the fairway
and turn towards our road.
The sun is gone to the other side of the world
and soon the stars and maybe comet Maccholz
will appear in the East
Our home greets me with a blast of warmth
that is not just the wood stove with its load
of Russian Olive and Cottonwood

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