The snow reached up from our walkways
four inches, eight, ten, a foot
cartwheeling in behind other storms of this season,
grief on the palms of its hands,
tumbling, touching everything:
mailboxes, phone lines, cell towers and now collapsing
his young skull, springing him from his seatbelt
to land on salted asphalt. Snow filling his wounds—
the bloody original
gone. gone. gone.
So we each pick up shovels
to knock down this reaching snow
to build damp alleys
to let the grief walk
with winter walls on either side,
two feet of fresh powder
topping brown and ivory strata.
Marking and marking storms past,
like the height chart still on his wall.
One foot, two, three feet, four.
Six foot two when the pavement came up.
We pray for no more storms this season,
for the gods, for Christ, for the groundhog
not to shake and send us further
into the beyond.
We walk alone
behind, in the casket’s path,
like a comet’s tail
waiting for the light of the sun
to melt a wider way.
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