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Between the icy snow banks
The sidewalks were clear
One block to the next to the next
in narrowing points of perspective.
I let the late winter sunshine draw me out
(you need 20% of skin exposed
to make Vitamin D)
Some walks were shoveled,
Some snow-blown
Some left to nature
I made up stories about each house
their secrets manifest in the shoveled walks
This one was shoveled edge to edge
because they had a fight,
and the edge to edge shoveling
was cathartic
The shoveler running away, making the task last
so she wouldn’t have to go back in
This one a meandering path,
One shovel-width wide
A child, perhaps, telling herself in stories
Of snow queens, and secret powers,
and icy paths through frozen kindgoms.
Every now and then a home unshoveled—
a pensioner locked in their own secret pain
And taking it out on us, the walkers,
picking our treacherous paths,
Or the ones that inexplicably left
just the last five feet unshoveled
so that you had to navigate
the icy crevasses left by the larger boots
that preceded you.
Making their secret calculations
about just how much
they owe the world.

written on Monday, and reworked on Wednesday for the dverse prompt of 1/21/20: secrets

8 thoughts on “A walk around the block

  1. I find these words so powerful: you had to navigate
    the icy crevasses left by the larger boots
    that preceded you.
    Making their secret calculations
    about just how much
    they owe the world.

    And such sadness in the home unshoveled, thinking of my ancient relatives who weren’t well enough to shovel and couldn’t afford to pay to have it done.

    What a great walk through the snow!

  2. Alexandra, I love the world you created here. Sounds like an actual walk you took, am I right? Thanks for the tip on the Vitamin D. We’ve had a little sun the last couple of days and it was wonderful!

  3. I enjoyed this winter walk with you, Xan! I’ve walked between banks of cleared snow and made up stories about houses. I especially liked the idea of ‘secrets manifest in the shoveled walks
    This one was shoveled edge to edge
    because they had a fight’
    and
    ‘This one a meandering path,
    One shovel-width wide
    A child, perhaps, telling herself in stories
    Of snow queens, and secret powers,
    and icy paths through frozen kindgoms’.
    But how sad the ‘home unshoveled— a pensioner locked in their own secret pain’.

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