After Epiphany: Side Street

A leaden matins. Up the block,
the scattered crows voice disapproval.
A tow-truck groans: someone has fallen victim
to the hard machinery of snow removal.

Someone has fallen, hard. The alley
lies there plotting its slick betrayal.
Fog-freeze blears our prospects. Time ticks dully,
keeping accounts. Dull forms come in the mail.

Fallen on ordinary time,
we drag our stripped trees to the trash,
neighbors along a straight-and-narrow climb.
The roadside snow takes on the grit of ash,

quit with the season, glum, half-gray.
Salted by sober reckoning,
we hunker down, not ready yet to tally
the debt of penance for another spring.

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