What I wanted seemed little enough at the time.
There was snow on the ground, grayish and sticking
to the mud—the promise of plenty to come.
Snow gathered already in the corners of sills.
When she spoke what we had sensed for weeks
without saying, her voice fell clear, unwavering, soft
as the day. It hardly had to do with us anymore.
The crazy tilt of the carport across the alley
was all I could see for awhile, the weight
on its wobbly roof like a terrible joke.
But that was wrong—that was wrong. Before long
the snows shook down on what we had done.
What I wanted was to ignore it all, sit there
in stillness, shepherding logs to the fire
while the old ones went pink to white to gray.
David Baker, “The First Person” from The Truth About Small Towns. Copyright © 1998 by David Baker. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Arkansas Press, www.uapress.com.
Source: The Truth about Small Towns
(University of Arkansas Press, 1998)