Sidewalks

Someday, this will be mine

This cold salted slab

An extension of myself.

It will crack and freeze,

In the fall it’ll cover

With red and pale orange leaves

In the summer it’ll clutter

With mothers and stroller babies.

 

I’ll live in these suburban castles,

And kiss my wife goodnight—

A ritual of eightteen years

From our wedding night.

We’ll be fighting our heavy

Eyelids, about half past nine

We’ve got to get up early

We’ll be working nine to five.

 

I’ll carpet bare floor.

Fine art will cling to my walls.

And I’ll slide the deadbolt

To keep the outside out.

I’ll sit by the brick fire

Reading in its warm light

One of the countless volumes

That my towering bookcase stores.

 

I’ll be a family man.

I’ll leave bright blue bulbs

Along my fine French doors.

Like harbor reflections of moonlight,

They’ll stay long past the new year

Breaking away the dark night

From my red minivan

 

And its double sliding doors.

I’ll read to Steve

And ask him what he’ll be;

Then I’ll sing to Suzie

Before sending her to sleep.

I’ll wonder what they’re dreaming,

Their breathing steady and soft;

I’ll lose track of their sizes;

Lord, they used to be so small.

 

I’ll stand in the warmth behind

My double picture window,

Looking at what I’ve shoveled

A few hours before.

Remember leaning a shovel

On my hardy potbelly

And thinking to myself

“Why’d I do this for?”

 

And I’ll snap back to my window,

My study light casting a glow.

Then I’ll see him running;

Hooded head sprinkled with snow.

I’ll see his breath

Frozen life, rejoining air,

And I’ll wonder if he

Is the boy I used to be.