Submitted Date 03/12/2019

Snow Bound
Age 12, Sharon Mountain, Sharon, Connecticut, 1957
-- My mother refused to own a television. --
-- This is one poem, in an autobiographical series of poems, I posted here at WriteSpike. Go to my stories section for others. They are in chronological order. --

That winter was worse than most
it held a new emptiness that was
more than my usual pain,
the pain of a divorced family

On Sharon Mountain
the snow fell on top of snow
shaping drifting hills
into the cow pastures
and across the neighbors' yards

On the first day of snow,
early in the morning,
even asleep,
I knew it had fallen
because it was snow-quiet
before the plows had cleared a path
and I dreaded the day of ice and wind

Yet from the second story window
I saw its unbroken beauty -
its whiteness cut through the black trees in the forest -
a view that was blocked by leaves the rest of the year -
and over fences, driveways
roads, stone walls -
it erased the boundaries
that normally divided my world

And with this winter starkness
my new pain returned

In December my mother had broken up with a man
I had hoped she'd marry,
a New York actor

He and I had become close friends
we had wandered the streets of the city together
and stayed up late watching his old movies;
occasionally he was in a soap opera
that my mother had watched excitedly
on a neighbor's TV -
but now I was prohibited from seeing him

In January
the snow fell like a wall
as though it was the emptiness itself
and in the mornings I cried
and could not get up

Then like a gift
I became sick with an ear infection
and stayed home, away from school, for a week -
I was glad to be alone with my grief

In February
the snow was like a comfortable room
and I looked forward to the feelings of loss
I walked around on the mountain
and marveled at the frozen falls -
layers of ice formed from moving water
that had become locked in place
although the stream
still ran underneath

In March
my mother borrowed a small TV
with rabbit ears -
I said my illness had returned
so I could leave school early

In the afternoons I had the house to myself
and because the mountain was so high
I could get live dramas from New York
during the golden age of television -
the reception at best
full of large flecks of static -
yet I hoped for a glimpse of Donald

Although I never saw him,
the screen had become a window
one that took me away

And as the snow melted
the sharp stabbing began to dull -
so I learned to add
this new emptiness
to my already existing hurt

And by spring
the pain felt familiar

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  • Tomas Chough 10 months, 1 week ago

    Another great one Rick! You always seem to create a movie scene in my mind with these poems. I find them very entertaining. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rick Doble 10 months, 1 week ago

      A movie scene! Wonderful, never thought of them that way but they are based on what I imagine that I saw at the time.

  • David Ross Washington Jr 10 months, 1 week ago

    Wow. This was sad and touching. I never knew or understood the pain of divorce, then again my parents never married. But even still I never understood the pain of parents separating. My parents separated shortly after, almost immediately actually, I was born. Through this, I can somewhat see how people feel through this.

    • Rick Doble 10 months, 1 week ago

      For most children of divorce, the time when they broke up is etched in the child's memory. When it happened to me, divorce was not nearly as common as it is now. Plus I was very close to my father and not being with him was terrible.

  • Miranda Fotia 10 months ago

    Very relatable! My mom dated a lot of men when I was growing up. It was always tough when it didn't work out with the ones I got attached to. Beautiful piece! Thanks for sharing!

    • Rick Doble 10 months ago

      Living in a divorced family is really different from a 'normal' (if there is such a thing) family. When I was growing up very few families were divorced so that made things even stranger.

  • Kiersten Felch 9 months, 1 week ago

    Kids feel so intensely. Thanks for sharing this .

    • Rick Doble 9 months, 1 week ago

      And thanks for reading and commenting on so many of my poems. It really helps to know that I am communicating.