december 2016

i see them standing in the backyards of their shared driveway

i see Ivan shuffling out from under the half-open garage door, the snowblower shrouded with orange tarp, piles of bird feed scattered at its clawed feet like black rice at a wedding. he’s carrying a plain, metal scoop shovel. i

see Jane with a new yellow shovel at her hip, standing at the birdbath lit up with tiny white LED lights. she’s wearing snow pants over her pyjamas. it’s after Christmas and the houses are decorated with bows and wilting boughs.

the snow glows blue-white in the early morning air. it’s still dark. but they are about to shovel, they are about to shovel. he is 92. she is 54. they are stubborn and i

want to tell them to stop, i want to tell them to stop, don’t do it. i want to tell them they will suffer. their backs, their backs. but they are persistent in the face of a shared driveway clogged with heavy snow.