On a day like today with the snow falling like a thick cotton curtain,
and no wind at all to send snow like a frozen slap across the face of you,
to send snow in tall waves against the buildings, rattling windows, shaking fire escapes,
to send snow in white torrents down the roads, great white rapids down roads,
to send snow into the alleys, shooting down the alleys like water from a hydrant,
to send snow pouring over the rooftops in cascades of powder,
On a day like today every kid I knew on my block,
every kid home from school on the rare days of no school,
every kid would be out by now in the falling and the fallen snow at nine in the morning,
every kid dressed in the uniform of the day against snow and cold,
every kid in galoshes and gloves, and hat and coat,
every kid knee deep plowing a path through powder,
in a competition to be the first to plow a path through the powder
in a rush to be the first on a sleigh down a hill deep in powder,
in a contest to build the biggest, the fattest, the best snowman,
in a war with the kids on the next block inside their fort
making snow balls by the hundred, hiding behind cars, splatting
old ladies, old men, old dogs, passing cars, trolleys and trains,
every kid runny nosed, and red faced, and wet from head to toe and freezing;
but not coming in from the snow falling like a curtain from the sky.
Every kid was out because Mom had sent us out,
out because Mom had been out when she was a kid,
out because all the others were out and it was no fun
staying home on a day like today with the snow
falling like a thick cotton curtain from the slate colored sky.
Today is a day like today on my block.
No kids are out doing what kids used to do in the snow
on my block when I was a kid, and the only thing I hear
is the snarl of snow throwers, and the only thing I see
except the men pushing them are the birds at my feeder,
the juncos from up north who winter in New Hampshire.