Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Up Hill, in the Dark

I'll be older, and I'll remember this day someday. I won't have thought of it for awhile, but one cold night in late November, I'll say to myself, I'll say ...

I remember that day, when,
in the aftermath of procrastination born
of pressure and responsibilities and it's okay, I have a little more time,
and really, I had to wait until all the money had been
collected and handed to me anyway,
well, I finally mailed those boxes.
The candy canes for Sierra Leone - the present we sent
to the school children
with the rest of the donations to follow.
Our offering to those we love in Africa had finally been sealed up
and labeled and stuck with forms and prayed over.
Please don't let them all be broken when they get there.

The post office was almost ready to close
and the lady was all alone without a helper
and still, she said she'd put the boxed in
before the truck pulled away to take them.
I got them packaged in the library and carried them
across the streets to the post office
just in time
for dark.

And it was cold out.
And windy.
And there was just enough blue moonlight
to make the white line at the side of the road
visible. Just enough light from the occasional car
to show my flapping white cloth bag.
But I wasn't worried about the cars.
In know my road, uphill, up and up the hill,
and I began to breathe in rhythm with my determined steps,
and put my face further into the hood of my red coat
so that the cold would not pull my power away.

At the bottom of the driveway I did not step into a pothole
and I did not trip on rocks or snag a branch as I walked by.
The dog barked once.
I answered her, and she came down to meet me
on the glow of the pale leaves
and the black and silvery gravel.

And through the dining room window
I saw the warm and yellow light of the fire in the pellet stove
and then I saw a little spark come from the stove pipe
and our ridiculous big dog pranced around in the cold and the dark
and I was home.

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