Monday, March 24, 2014




First off, I'm sick of the cat bowl behind the woodstove but not the cat
my buddy
I've had my face pitched down to retrieve
that bowl for the past 200 freezing days in a row
since I last went swimming, and where I went
swimming is frozen solid

I'm sick of this weather that's sick of me and as I said I'm sick of it
nothing like mutual

I'm sick of all the doors that don't close right because they're old and warped
but still it must have something to do with winter, right?

I'm sick of firewood, o my god the firewood, it's running out
or it's about to run out in almost every dooryard I spy into
on the long haul mud drive to town

and that's another thing —
I'm sick of all those who live on a tar road
who have no idea what it's like to live on five miles of mud road
it's six more weeks of winter is what it is
while they're fancy free and clean
we're mud splattered to the car windows
the truck tailgate
the waist of our pants

naturally there's nothing to be done about it —
blame your parents
they got you born
winter is here to stay
and if you don't know winter
you're probably baking in flat iron heat
or wondering when a fireball will roll over the hills to your home

what a plan!
rotten moods
foul weather
too long winters
and no place to put it except into our lives

I asked the dental hygienist as she pinned my bib
"how's your winter been?" both of us iceboxed in vermont
"terrible" she moaned
"I don't think I can take one more day of this"
outside the window I see that lovely pale increasingly warming soon-to-be sunshine
up against a three story abandoned pea green brick building and recall how

nearly thirty years ago I watched the movie High Plains Drifter in that building
with a friend, now long gone, who had my little family over for supper

I return to the hygienist:
"well, when spring comes you'll have no choice but to take the day off"
she nearly squeals at the idea and then rolls her eyes
regaining consciousness and good sense past
my foolish whimsical plan
"are you kidding, they'd have my head"

so, you see, it isn't that bad
she has one or two sensible days left in her
to get through winter


photos © bob arnold