We trek to the post office through A bombs of snow squalls.
Our cold, watery lives perch atop my mother’s head,
Melting through copper hair, thick skull, and tissue,
To deliver the brain freeze.
Mother will tear your heart out like a blade of grass,
In the hands of some summer girl dancing in the fields;
An ensemble of war trumpets flapping out of key behind the clouds.
There is blood on her hands.
I don’t have much to say about my-small-self, except
My name is Jasper.
Shreds of soaked and scattering newspaper
Toss against fences that follow the sidewalk,
Like rustled feathers in a chicken coop.
Our right bears the abandoned county jail,
Cement walls sky high.
But today, between the iron bar gates
And beyond them iron bar doors,
And within those iron bar windows,
A fiery light burns within.
Mad- minded Mother hurries past without noticing.
The snow is rising past my knees.
A plow truck bursts through the veil of snow with a thunderous grumble,
Scraping against pavement.
I clench mother’s hand in mine, but am lost
In a moment of awe-
A blinking shark of the great white sno’cean,
Stuffing its steel jaws with frigid, frosty flesh.
Leaving its trail through salt chunks & sand.
It passes, or we pass it,
The lights slowly fade to white.
And the grumble quiets.
My hustle is reduced to a waddle.
Mother grabs my hand, and forces my small legs to churn faster.
Ahead, an undisturbed mass of sparkling snow,
Frosting on the birthday cake,
We clip and drag a thin layer off the top with each step;
And I want to turn around so badly.
I watch Mother’s jeans with cautious eyes as globs of slush squirt from the tips of my boots,
surely, soaking those pants through.
But she does not know
Or doesn’t care.
My arm aches from the tugging game between mother and I.
The post office is close enough,
But I am an anchor on this speedboat.
Pickup is a necessity.
But, then our hands rip apart,
I lose my reigns.
Skidding boots and snow impacted gloves, I spinout in the snow,
While Mother’s shape tapers into that white curtain.
I spit out a shark’s amount of snow,
Dribbling its way down my chin and slipping into my jacket.
I am young and it sears my skin and I cry.
The anchor is snagged and lost its chain
The sharks are going to eat me-
But these rare times, when The Worst has won,
Even It has its limits.
A great arm clasps around my body and lifts me to the clouds and grey skies.
Fore’ it is mother! I flip up like a caught fish,
Land on two boots and slap myself snow free-
“Come on you little brat!” She sneers.