Dirty Snow

by Renée Hearrin

The cedar cape drips its milk-white mask,
quaint boucléd roof and icicle lace,
patchy wet windows, porch and walk
to muddled shovels of craggy gray.

A plow truck rolls and crimps the curb
like a pie crust of unsavory brown
as slumping snowmen in dingy hems
tire and pool on the sodden ground.

The tossed beer bottles with brassy labels
held quiet under snow, now collide
among loose gravel, grit and decay
exposed in the plowed underside.

Beneath a crusty mound, nested in trash
and through a tunnel sculpted deep,
a scant of mice burrow cozy and curled —
bellies fat with rubble, asleep.

A neighbor shovels his way — scrape by scrape —
worn from heaving the wet weight about,
wishing a pansy head or early leaf
(and a warmer mood) would peep out.