SHOVELERS

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Snow falls steadily as years.
The city sounds like shovels on cement.
Breath rises everywhere;
there are no roof rakes to be had.
Plows push drifts into driveways
and mailboxes are toppled and crunched.
The shovelers will never manage.
I walk the city and watch them work.
Snow falls on their shoulders
and follows them down the streets.

My mother’s things are left:
books and letters, chairs.
The box of birthday cards to send.
Blouses and bracelets,
unlabeled photographs.
Flowered sheets, German crystal,
the quilt cut out and pinned.
The silver, the Hummels,
a shoebox filled with Mexican bells.
A basket of my father’s shirts to mend.

December 8, 2010

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