The Weather and The Dead (A Poem)

The Weather and The Dead

 

A small child in a snowsuit

Underneath the long arm of a bare tree

Holding a tiny red shovel

Leaning down with great effort

To scoop up a pure white slice

Of yesterday’s storm

It was a warm front that pushed through

Colliding with an arctic wind

That generated the white material

Which this child, almost buried alive in clothes, is now playing with

And as you pass on the slick sidewalk with your paper cup

If you fail to look down and smile at the sight

Of red cheeks and sparkling lashes

And the furious movement of the mittened hands

Struggling to raise the shovel

To two bright lips that are puckered and ready

To give winter a kiss

If you fail to look down and smile even a little

Then you have failed at everything you’ve ever done

You are the weather; only the child remains alive