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The Third Snowfall

Updated on May 28, 2017

It was early December.


I had been up since ten in the morning

and had plans for two that afternoon.


It had been decided for a week that I

would visit my friend and see the condo he had just bought;

I was going to be renting the second bedroom.


The second snowfall had come around

six or seven Saturday night,

and there remained

as much snowfall through the night

that when I went outside for a cigarette

and stood

ankle-deep

in snow

I was face to face with a humming and quiet life, and lull;

it could have been only the moment I took the

last drag of my cigarette; but it went on until one in the morning.


By then I was too tired to stay awake any longer.

My room is cold.

It often seems warmer outside because I will have

between 4 and 6 layers;

in the house, only 1 or 2;

I have a thick blanket that I slipped into

and when I closed my eyes, it was the snowing winter sky.


Cold mornings are a

dreadfully simple thing to explain

enduring a northern winter.


It wakes you up, but keeps you in bed.

It gets you in the shower and keeps you in the shower.

It starts coffee and it finishes the pot.

It’s time.


The book you’ve been waiting to read all year

has better appeal sitting on the mantel of the fireplace;

more than it likely did in the summer.


When I got out of bed that Sunday

I went into the kitchen


started coffee (taking a small pot,

filling it with water from the sink,

putting it onto the stovetop, finding the cone in the sink

that is still holding the muddy grounds from the day before,

washing the cone, washing my mug, drying both,

placing the cone on top of the mug, a filter in the cone,

coffee in the filter, and pouring boiling water into the fresh

store brand coffee grounds; watching the hot coffee drip and

fall from the bottom)


watched the steam rise from the mug

and dance through the sides of the cone.

Arabic Coffee House
Arabic Coffee House

My friend had called the night before. I wasn’t

sure if he was going to pick me up to see the condo.


He had said that if it was unsafe to drive (more or less)

that we’d have to plan for another day.


I was anxious to move in, and suggested

that we play it by year.


We would play it by year.

What's the most snow you've ever driven through?

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The third snowfall had started by the time I woke up

but it was seeming likely, as I began to gain

at least most of my day-to-day focus

that it would be a manageable drive.


One thing I decided that morning was

to not walk to the laundromat

as originally planned.


It didn’t need to be done that badly

that it couldn’t wait

until my next day off


I slipped into my

blanket and read.


When there’s snowfall in a book, and I’m

sitting there with that character

(of all the given places they could be) and they’re

out on their front porch

just as comfortably as they would be standing on their front porch in the summer

with the grandeur of it all

white snow glinting like thousands of marching sword tips

that flow through every patch of green;

and the bite of holding cold metal making raw meat of his hands;

his family inside the house, and out of the lull

their daughter reading by candlelight

his son asleep; his wife waiting to be;

just once before dawn, he wanted to watch the snow fall.


My front porch was

covered in snow;

when I went outside, pulled out a cigarette

and saw our corner of the block

I noticed also that it wasn’t as cold as the night before.


Snow was falling heavily; the roads were being kept clear

well enough; and my friend had decided to pick me up.


We would stop at the grocery store for lunch, go to the condo,

and then I’d get dropped off at home.


He was driving his dad’s truck

because he was moving a 75 year old dresser

to the condo.


We pulled up, pulled the dresser out of the back, and brought it up

to the condo; before actually walking around we hurried down the steps

to pull the drawers out of the truck because it was parked in

the middle of the lane.


It was simple.

the layout was sensible to accommodate

a two-bedroom

two-bathroom apartment.


There was a small den as well. It was about the size

size of my bedroom, and had double-glass doors.

My friend was turning it into a music studio.


Just like this, I thought.


I didn’t stay long. He needed to get

the truck back to his dad; the snow was falling pretty heavily.


When I got home my roommate was in the garage holding

a shovel. He asked if I could help shovel the driveway.

I grabbed the other shovel.


By then it was night,

and be it as it may, I felt inside darker than the night;

the sky was light purple, faint; and textured.

We worked swiftly with practiced speed and dexterity

his driveway was a light job.

So were most of the driveways in the neighborhood.


My skin was white;


feeling a small wash of heat through

my head, chest, shoulders, arms and neck, I stood up, leaned on the shovel

and looked at our corner of the block.


We’ve all seen it, several times before.

My roommates. Our neighbors next door. All the people down the road.

Every year it snowed, but not every year was the same.


There was a streetlight by the house. It illuminated the street

corner and the white snow banks across the street and just down the road.


I looked around and then stuck my shovel back into the snow.


When we were done, I found a small desire in me

to go out and shovel some more.


My roommate and I were having a cigarette.

The snow was just done falling and

people were just coming home from work.


The streetlight showed snow everywhere.

The snow on the phone lines looked like lines of cocaine;

and everything else, as well, seemed as if

I were looking at it from

under glass.

Do you enjoy shoveling your own driveway?

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    • Kyle Stark profile image
      Author

      Kyle Stark 2 months ago from Chicagoland Area, Illinois

      An hour north of Chicago.

    • Kyle Stark profile image
      Author

      Kyle Stark 2 months ago from Chicagoland Area, Illinois

      Thank you. I very much prefer the summer, but winter certainly has its charm.

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 2 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Philadelphia and Hazleton, Pennsylvania

    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 2 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      I love the poem, very magical!

    • Kyle Stark profile image
      Author

      Kyle Stark 2 months ago from Chicagoland Area, Illinois

      Where were your winters?

    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 2 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      This poem made me miss winter just a little bit. Not enough to put on my heavy coat and shovel snow. Thanks for this poem. It was a reminder of how things were for me.