Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow can give you a
sense of purpose when you don’t 
feel one; say for instance it is a

gray morning, too early for work and
too late for sleep, and you are trying to 
pull out the sliver of a poem, one about,

say, the loss of someone you didn’t
understand, or being haunted by a
violent ghost, or an indescribable 

desire, or a sleeping child left in the 
back seat of an empty idling car, or

a fear (with no name) of something
(with no name), or the smell of
the hair of that girl in homeroom,

or Death as a turnpike toll-taker, or
inappropriate envy, or something,
anything to give a stranger a lump

in the throat, but say these poems are
all cars without keys, dribble from a 
fire hose, a single shoe, wet kindling…

then cutting a swath in silence through
blue-white powder feels good; altering
a landscape, clearing a path, maybe while

a snatch of Hendrix or Staples Singers
revolves in your head like a clockwork
mantra – then shoveling snow feels like

inspired important work, the kind 
your pen and paper bailed on,
those lazy cowards.

By Dave Morrison