Steve West

Remembrance of Something Past


There was some snow that morning.
Lying over the grave like a blanket
Kicked away in the night. 

I placed plastic poinsettias:
Nearly Christmas.  She
Loved them so. 

And looked to where neighbors lay
Under the tattered snow.
I swear I smell cigars
And the warm musk of dogs. 

That was 1963,
Bill unwrapped a Roi-Tan,
Licked it like I would lick a popsicle.
Finally lit it.  Smiled through smoke. 

And handed me a bubble gum cigar
So I could pretend. 

Daddy emerges:  a shotgun
And three beagles.
Exhaust from Billís truck
Like winter breath.  I curse 

School and long for Christmas break,
As Mama arranges flowers 

And the smell of cinnamon,
Escapes from the kitchen. 

Like a rabbit disappearing
Into fog.