Scurrying done, now we wait for Thor
padding through the timeless park
dog sniffing at the rare dry air.
Even the homeless acquiesce
in deeper stillness
than before – one more time, one rasps –
and a park hand in his red jacket
shakes his head
pokes his broom
his work yet to start.
All around there is work
of the wordless kind
a mother wheeling carts of cereal
her kids on break from school and standards
will raid her pantry, bleed dry her frig.
In clandestine corners
contractors meet construction
coffee carried in quiet
to encourage work be performed before Thor befalls.
Stodgy men in vests of green and overalls
dodge bullets of ice and rain
contort themselves around
blinking neon arrows
or noiselessly wrap wires
in the streetcar’s electric box.
The restaurants honor the hour of lunch
then Edison bulbs over bourbon bottles
will go dark
for dinner, dismissing Thor
from their front stoop though he will be
in the mood for margaritas
which will reign on this frozen night.
It is March, and this we know –
Thor, by any other name, is just snow.
A husband walks to work, in webbed rubber boots
trudges up a sixty-percent grade
hopes he does not trundle down
the fluffy ice by morn.
Matt will pedal on his bike, knock
ask for Mrs. Manley
though there’s no Mrs. Manley here.
He won’t get the gag
but he’ll get the shovel
and borrow gloves to later sell or lose.
And when complete, shove off with
sandwiches, socks and clementines.
No taking of a nip of bourbon
for fear the drink will take him down.
He has battled Thor a plenty,
one more and he’ll survive.