Time to be

I could hear it outside from the kitchen.

There was a consistent, rhythmic scrape on the cement of the driveway.

It was nighttime.

The only sound outside, the rolling shovel sliding back and forth

Back and forth, tossing the light, late snow.

My mother wore her ten-year coat.  Every year, the same one.

The ample hood with polyester fake fur encircled her face like an angel.

By the time I came out to join her, the half she had shoveled

Already held another half inch.

Her purpose was not to clear it, but to do it.

She loved that time to be.

As soon as I came out with my ice skates she offered to clear the snow off Lake Fazio.

The sump pump between houses overflowed and froze between the houses.

A skinny strip of ice formed on top of grass.

My mother swept her shovel across the ice

Revealing a rink just for me.

Back and forth, back and forth I went.

While she returned to the driveway

Leaving me time to learn how to be.


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