“Snow Day” by Janet Reed

This new dog lifts one cold paw
into the glove of her warm belly,

eyes asking why abandon
a blanket of down for one of snow.

I tug her leash and pull on
past the school and church

in line with a wedge of geese
honking I-told-you-sos overhead,

their taunts like those I remember
after bent-arm hangs and volleyball,

pecking order lines at gym mirrors,
high-school beauties with blue eye shadows

and sharp tongues holding forth
on the faces behind them,

a Simon Says of trash talk,
one girl forward, another back.

I cared too much once, not wanting
to be the lone goose on the back row.

Those dance queens, like me,
must think about those long-ago days,

before wrinkles creased our eyes
before nipples perky in vanity bras

drooped in the folds of our nightgowns;
youth and beauty double-crossed us all.

We lucky ones lived to suffer our losses.
We have what we made of things.

I have this wind sharp against my cheek,
the joy of found time in a snow day,

the love of this dog that trusts me
to lead her on until she understands.

Janet Reed teaches writing and literature for Crowder College in Missouri.  She is a Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging flower child whose poems reflect conversations she has with voices in her head.  She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been published and is forthcoming in multiple journals, and she is currently at work on her first chapbook.


One thought on ““Snow Day” by Janet Reed

  1. Pingback: First Digest of 2018 and OPEN SUBMISSIONS | Zingara Poetry Review

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