Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12


  1. Cold Mountain
    after Robert Hayden
    Those Winter Sundays

    On top of Mt.Baldy
    My sister was on lift #2
    and I was at the bottom
    during a snow blizzard
    where we both worked
    while there was few
    skiers that morning

    The two way phone rang
    as my sister explained
    in tears how she was
    freezing and didn't think
    she could go on and stay
    working her shift
    the wind was blowing
    through the
    door as the snow
    and wind came in to
    make her even more colder
    I told her she could clap
    her feet together as she
    would her gloved hands and
    keep the blood circulating
    while I told her a heart
    warming short story by Jack
    London called to build a fire
    It was the least I could do so
    she would feel not so alone
    as the story put us both in a
    state of storytelling as she
    listened to the way the character
    in the story was in the Yukon at
    thirty below zero
    She appreciated the gesture
    but still wondered how we
    were going to survive the
    cold on top of the mountain?
    Then a fate of luck came from
    the lodge and relieved us from
    our posts as the storm had been
    so cold that the lifts were going
    to be closed for the rest of the
    day and to her calling me at the
    end of the other line
    The news of the ski lifts
    shutting down couldn't
    have come any sooner

  2. Those Christmas Purchases
    After Robert Hayden, Those Winter Sundays

    The Burlington Northern shook the house, whistling
    As mother pulled on her boots
    Walked slowly down the plowed streets
    To stand at the Certified register
    As she rung up food for wealthy people
    She’d keep close eye out for bargains
    For the Christmas meal.

    Meanwhile the State Street trip would launch, as
    Auntie met me at the train, off to see
    The fluffy animals dance in displays
    And try on winter clothes by armloads
    That favorite aunt would gift.

    Tired from the long work day
    Mother pulled the dinner fish sticks from the oven
    As we excited shoppers returned
    Her silent eyes would watch as I
    Tentatively displayed the fine new clothes
    What did I know
    Of love’s austere and lonely office?