It wasn’t meant to be a race,
when, at the same moment,
my next-door neighbor and I
happened to slip-slide
from our houses to our respective cars
to scrape away 3 days’ worth of ice
and escape cabin fever.
She tiptoed across her crystal lawn,
avoiding her ice-rink-ready sidewalk,
carrying a piece of cardboard
to use as a sweeper.
I walked heel-to-toe
down my partially melted sidewalk,
at times veering off to my own icy lawn,
using my ergonomic snow shovel for support.
She retrieved her car’s ice-scraper
and began to chip away the ice
in small, dainty jabs.
I hefted my shovel over my head,
placed the bucket’s blade
against the edge of the icy car roof
and pushed, jammed, pushed
until ice began to give way
in large chunks that slid-thunked
to the ground like broken pieces
of a glacier.
On occasion, I glanced at my neighbor’s car
to gauge our progress.
Ahead, for a while, I gloated, smug,
Then, smarted, as she drove past me,
while I continued–fancying myself
an ice sculptor,
to chip free the windshield wipers.
Ten minutes later,
I, too, was driving off,
the ice chunks I’d left
in my path.
About this poem: A “small” poem, written more as an exercise in descriptive language than a work of substance. I am grateful that Baltimore escaped the worst of what has been a devastating winter storm, affecting such large swaths of the U.S. I pray for the recovery of all those less fortunate.