First Snow

by Jeff Oaks

My little light. My warm bed. The dog
as black as the darkness he makes
near my feet. His breathing like well water.
I know there’s snow outside. Ten photos

from ten different friends elsewhere in the city
on Facebook. But still I want to see it myself.
It’s still a reason to get up and look out
at the dark neighborhood, where morning’s cars

are beginning to light and hum and wipe
their windshields clear. No matter how old I get,
losing more hair each year, growing more
nervous about gum recession, arthritis in my fingers,

belly fat, retirement, long term care health insurance,
still I get up to see what used to be rain begin to change
into something ordered, fragile. More beautiful. Though it
of course doesn’t think of itself that way. My new glasses.

My bare feet on the cold floor. The house filling
with heat. It’s almost nothing really, just the first
dust of it on the roofs and hoods. Almost nothing really.
But it’s happening, I think. It’s happening. The dog

in the living room arranges himself into a patient
sphinx on the oriental carpet. Watches me for signs.
I fold one coat into another one. I get my gloves.
I get my boots. I grab the keys whose sound is like heaven’s.

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