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First Snow

age seven:
my brother and I drink cocoa from plastic mugs
and dress in our snowsuits
before running out the front door and leaping
into the glorious mountains of winter
manufactured by the snowplow.
We are not snow angel kids.
we build tunnels and fortresses,
write messages in the field by walking letters big enough
to be read from the kitchen window.
we do not build snowman families
with the help of grumbling parents.
we do not need their assistance-
(until we race into the house, faces burning,
nearly crying because the cocoa has caught up to us
and our fingers are too numb
to undo the zippers).

age seventeen:
a boy with eyes like December mornings
pulls me into the snowbank
and kisses me for the first time.
hands clasped,
the feeling returns
to my fingers.

31 October 2001