From where I was standing I could see
The first form of winter’s frost in Jersey.
My warm breath clashed with the paper-cut
Air unfurled years ago.
Even though it never snowed, mom kept
An old tire for sledding downhill. And
If any of us asked why she bothered
She’d smile and shrug.
One year she bought us all ski coats and hats
-which gathered dust in the hallway closet.
The year before that, I caught her salting our
Lightly dewed back porch. Every year got worse.
I felt it time to leave that place.
The grass I did back flips on wouldn’t miss me.
The stove I made Christmas cookies in wouldn’t either.
Yet I still wrote back to mom every week.
I didn’t bother stamping the envelopes.
I knew she’d get them eventually.