Monday, January 9, 2017

snow days

This evening I saw a man standing by the road, holding up a sign I could not read in the fading light.  He stood in the bitter cold, the ground covered by the recent snowfall.   As I drove home, I thought about a memory when, as a child, I would play in the snow.  Snow days were always the best.  I would spend my time outdoors trying to build snowman or just snowballs until my finger tingled.  Then I would come inside to warm up, my feet by the heater and hot chocolate in my hand as mom did housework.  A little while later, I would go back outside to play in the beautiful snow until the daylight began to fade.  It seems like that was the only time when I enjoyed the snow.  In later years, it has become more of a nuisance than a joy.  I suppose that man on the side of the road may feel the same way too.  He may have once, as a child, made snow angels in his backyard. But now as he stands in the bitter cold, the snow is just another curse to his destitute state.

on bitter cold days
the sun shines upon white snow
but leaves us no warmth

- Written for dVerse Haibun Monday #28 which challenges us to write a haibun about a childhood memory.  I had already thought about writing a poem about the snow and the destitute man I saw on my home from work (unfortunately not the first time).  Then I saw this prompt, started writing and this is where I landed.  I have heard people say that sometimes you focus on writing one way, but once you stop writing you find yourself in an entirely different place.  I believe this is one of those occasions for me.  









13 comments:

  1. The snow is a nuisance for me as well, although the first few snowfalls, the warmer, wetter kind that leave the trees coated in white are still a delight to walk through. However, I don't make snow angels anymore.

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  2. I love the point of view you took. Probably, it is close to the truth.

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  3. I used to love the snow very much, but have fallen a little out of love with it lately, especially in cities where it is nothing but dirty slush and cold black ice. I like the way your poetry started with one thing and veered off into a different direction - if it doesn't surprise you when you write it, it's not really poetry, right?

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  4. Excellent haibun with good description and the juxtapositioning of the man, out in the cold, and his feelings about snow now. Haiiku wraps it up nicely.

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  5. Sadly I see these things around me in the city subway specially ~ Maybe he did once but he became bitter and broken in the later years ~ So sad though...

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  6. Lovely story. My mom taught me how to make snow angels. I think like that too about the destitute people holding up signs in the cold. I think "when I was a freshman in college, he was probably just being born." And I think about how his life could have turned out differently. Very sad. What happens to a person that makes them feel that choice is reasonable?

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  7. yes, you brought me back to that space in my childhood. Thanks.
    ZQ

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  8. Love how you tied the present back to the memory... I still love snow sometimes, but not when I have to work. If I'm free and can use my skies it's perfect. Lovely haiku

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  9. Oh, yes, our perspective on snow can certainly change depending on our circumstances and exposure to it.

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  10. this works so beautifully....the joy for you as a child in the snow....countered by the man cold with the sign. Heartful. Jane

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  11. Thank you everyone for reading and commenting. :)

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  12. Gayle Walters RoseJanuary 10, 2017 at 9:09 PM

    I too liked how you connected seeing the man by the road to your past memory as a child enjoying the snow. Certainly perspectives can change through the years and with our circumstances.

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