Revised from February, 2011. Originally titled “Inertia.”
One last snowfall.
though the calendar
still insists otherwise.
I refuse to clear the walk
knowing the temperature
will rise tomorrow.
Is this hope? I’m calling it hope
though it has been so long,
I’m uncertain. It may instead
be surrender, white flag
waved in the white face
of more on top of so much.
Story of my life, lately;
unwillingness to negotiate
with relentless, impersonal events.
The tendency of a body at rest
is to remain at rest unless acted upon
by an outside force. I’m not at all
rested, though. The snow outside
has held me here but I’m still
shaking in place. If this is
hope, I trust it less than despair.
Hope suggests you get up
and clear the walk
before it will enter. Despair
tells you to sit still and wait
for nothing to enter
except whatever comes when Hope
refuses to even glance at the house
when it passes on its rounds. Despair
is trustworthy. Hope, on the other hand?
I can’t even get up to look out the window
to see hope pass by. Can’t even be bothered
to wave. The walk is never going to melt off
today, and tomorrow might be warmer,
but it will also be too late.
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