First Snow


It was December, morning dark, first
snow, you called and wanted to go
for a drive. You came before the plows,
and I remember we went down the hill,
then over, there was the stream, black against
white, the blacker trees. We didn’t get far.
Did you see the car, the girl, or was it
me, was she already standing or did
she open the door? She flagged us down.
We pulled him out, her grandfather, our coats,
we put them under, you stepped beside him,
and she, was she sixteen, we were eighteen
or nineteen, she must have gone for help.
I don’t remember what happened next,
but I see his hair and her shoes, your mouth
on his, the blue house set back from the road.
I was standing, I don’t think I moved.
And then years later, this took me years,
I knew he was dead, he was when we got there,
you already knew and there was nothing
you could do but breathe, wait and breathe
until the police came, until they came
and we got in the car and you tried to drive away.

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