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Winter Snapshots...

Artwork by Metcalf

          The air has turned cold,
          and I can see my breath rise
          in steamy mist as I release it.
          My wool cap is pulled down
          over my ears, and my nose
          and cheeks are pink.
          They say it will snow later, 
          and already I imagine the 
          pinging feel of flakes as 
          they hit my nose.
          I wish I was a child again.
          I hurry from my car into
          the house, to avoid a
          blustery wind, so chilling
          to older bones.
          I remember when I loved
          this time of year; How  I
          would rush out to play
          in the first snow.
          We would build snow forts
          or igloos, and I recall being
          so cold, my fingers throbbed
          from my soggy gloves freezing,
          and how ice crystals formed
          on their tips.
          I remember coming in from the
          cold, taking off my boots and
          shoes, and putting my sock-
          clad feet on our kitchen
          radiator to warm them 
          while I drank hot cocoa with
          Where did those innocent 
          days go? There must be a place 
          they are stored where they can
          be rekindled at whim. 
          My vegetable soup has simmered
          on the stove all day, and I
          ladle it into waiting bowls.
          There are thick crusty slices
          of Italian bread from the bakery,
          and warm bread pudding
          for dessert.
          My mother served this same meal,
          and I've kept it in the scrapbook
          of my mind.
          The snowfall has begun, and
          the flakes dance crazily as 
          wind blows them hard
          against my window.
          I stand like a child, with my 
          face pressed to the glass,
          watching their beauty as they
          shimmer in the glowing street
          When I was little, I would
          watch that light every night
          to see if I could catch a glimpse
          of new snow.
          I remember how Christmas 
          seemed  so much better 
          with its presence.
          I take my grandson to iceskate at
          a rink near our home.  I remember
          skating on the pond at a friend's
          farm years ago, and how we would 
          skate there after school until
          the sun went down.
          I still hear the sound of cracking
          ice, and now realize how lucky
          we were we didn't drown.
          Rinks are nice; warm for grandmas,
          and safe for adventuresome 
          little boys.
          Soon it will be spring, and I will
          be looking for the first crocus 
          in my yard.  They blossom like 
          sweet promises of warmer 
          days, sometimes through snow.
          I am always glad to see spring.
          I somehow feel I've been given
          another year to bloom.
          copyright September 2002
          Judith Anne Labriola


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