Novelty Snow

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”

We stroll
on cobbled streets made of rubber
fake plastic trees lighting our path.

I catch sight of one smothered with paper plates
covered in five-year-old fingerprints

another hung with homemade snowflakes
each impaled on a struggling bough

I feel the smile before it happens.

We move along,
cradling hot chocolate sold as gourmet
because it comes with a baseball dollop of whipped cream
and watch the holiday happen.

Each bundled mound of human walks with another
some more than doubled up
some flinging hot chocolate onto the pavement

others singing offkey carols.

I pay them little notice until I am suddenly sprayed with fluff
regurgitated by a small machine suspended on a pole

A manufactured wintery gust of snow.

I shield my hot chocolate and scamper caddy-corner
Unable to partake in the good-natured fun afforded to me.

I grew up with snow,
the wet slushy mounds seeping into my shoes
the wind-bitten flurries breaking my face like molded glass
the tundra highways to trek in a car made for a dollhouse.

I have earned my snowshoes
and brush them from my mind,
watching these groups of hot chocolate flingers
and drunk carol crooners

as they squeal and spin under the artificial dream
the wonderment of what snow looks like on tv
each response stuffed with glee and giggles

I cannot share.

But I won’t stop them, no
their day might have hung harder on them than wet snow
they might have stepped on the paperplate
or the impaled snowflake

until that moment.

I wouldn’t want them to stop my thoughts of you
how you whined about the snow each year
your ankles often swollen
but your heart as heavenly huge.

I wouldn’t want them to dull your eyes
or demolish your memory
when I am slogging through another day.

I won’t wipe away their shot of home
among these belches of winter.

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