In the early hours
the yard is a cake,
its house and fence
frosted crystal white.
The walkway edges
are softened with layer
on swirling layer of snow.
Did your father's thoughts drift
as he scraped endless icing
from cars and concrete
before you were old enough
to push a broom or hold a scoop,
or know that all that brilliance
was one man's burden to bear?
Now, you in your driveway,
and across town your brother.
Kindred spirits with shovels,
each standing in his own pile
of the same white stuff -
taking swipe after swipe
of that cold and tasteless confection.
Wondrously layered. I not only see the drifting thoughts from one to another but the burden that responsibility brings. I love the snow, which is a good thing for I live very very far northwest BC and we hold world records for our snow fall. This winter was the first in many where the shoveling fell to me alone and haha well...thank goodness Mother Nature took pity on me!
This is simply marvelous, you are some talented Miss Annie and this again was a pleasure. Thank You
It is snowing profusely here today, and I am procrastinating very much about sweeping and clearing snow in order to leave the house. But it is so pretty and pristine, the river, the mountains, trees and buildings all look so beautiful, a Disney-esque fantasy wonderland. However the task at hand holds no such fascination!
I liked how your thoughts stray to your Father's thoughts as you performed the tasks he once did -- I find myself doing that a lot lately. It's walking in another's shoes, that we glimpse what they might have seen, feel what they have felt, or hear whispers of voices long-silent.
Very cool, pun intended. :) I miss snow sometimes. I think I'd rather have snow than all this rain at least. Both are just as cold and miserable I guess. This is written beautifully. I really like your writing style. I like how you say it, and the images of icing and gingerbread-ish houses/yards/decorations (cars), and the symmetry of siblings in the end, carrying on the tradition of snow shoveling and how tasteless it becomes as the burden is passed on. Really love your writing.
This is very nice. How can I say it? A simple moment, an extended metaphor. Usually I don't go in for these things. Too often they're spread too thin. But I feel like here, the point isn't the metaphor, its the content, a feeling beneath the surface that's only hinted at. "Did your father's thoughts drift" - drift to what? I find my own thoughts drifting toward whatever imagined thoughts one thinks, alone in the cold. And the word choice here merits mentioning- drift, as is snow drift, rather than wander. There is, as nwproud said, a sense of self-sufficiency, pride, a sense of family - to think back to those same thoughts, to have a similar experience, to understand what it is to stand alone, to work for oneself or one's family. Very nice.
When I read through this piece of writing, I imagine the recollections of each brother as they work to shovel and scoop the snow, memories of helping their father when they were younger, and how the tasks and responsibilities were eventually handed down to them as they grew old enough. A sense of pride, really, to be working on their own, finally, and how perhaps one day they would have sons or daughters or teach such responsibility and appreciation to.
Ultimately, the writing retains a positive feeling if only for the initial and closing comparison to a perfectly iced and frosted cake. Thanks for sharing.