KODAK Digital Still Camera

Published in Gargoyle 68, 2018.
Excerpt from “Not Better Late”

Snow resonates in me like a drum. At age three until about seven snow thrilled me as its white sweeps and slopes gleaming in sunlight settled into Buckfield through winter, brightening the somber days when the sky changed from patchworks of white and blue to washes of gray. I’d grope into light flurries swirling insubstantial indecisive snowflakes. Mornings I’d run downstairs
hoping for a coating of snow across the ground and the back porch so I could put on my little boots and tramp around outside. After short days without a visible sun I’d pause on my way upstairs to peer out the front parlor windows at the snowfields that muted the road. Christmases changed me about snow. Christmas, when families got together and dreams may come true, should be 
the day Papa and Maman would arrive from Michigan. What word overheard, what childish fantasy got that dream started? Letters hoping I was well and promising a reunion— what a special day! It had to be at Christmas. As that most magical day in my childhood pantheon approached, I’d puzzle over the
 weather map in the newspaper and listen to news broadcasts for the latest on the weather. I’d gobble down supper in haste to station myself in the parlor chair by the third window with the best view of the direction Papa and Maman would arrive from and in the faint illumination of the lights on the Christmas 
tree in the far corner I’d study oncoming headlights. Would they arrive by car or bus? Snow smothered hope. Dismayed I’d watch a steady snowfall beginning to clump on grass and tree limbs and dissolve on the wet tarmac, then fall in wet globs fattening deep drifts across the highway, ending the passage of cars, sending shadows of doom across my soul. Christmas snow spoke: impossible. Inside me a silent echo trembled…