“Hatatochee Mountains”

During winters in the Hatatochee Mountains
the snow crept down the mountainside
like a slow motion, black and white negative
of the chocolate syrup my mother poured
over the pure white ice cream.

The old Dodge leaked oil, drip by drop
on the clean, new cement of the driveway
until it spread slowly into a large stain
over the previously perfect purity of cement

My old, blind grandfather told me of the blindness
creeping up on him, stealing little bits of light
around his panoramic view until it dwindled
to a singular skinny tube like a gun barrel
and then, in a single shot, vanished forever.

it creeps on me slowly, day by day
the dark clouds obscuring my horizon.
Day of “let me play the fool” have succumbed
to the bitter ironies of real life/real people.

Driving down the Hatatochee highway
years ago on a spring day,
we suddenly were enveloped by the morning fog,
Silence gripped us, seized us by the throats.
Tensely, fearfully, we rode together twisting down the mountain
until suddenly, the new green valley popped out at us
like a pop-up book page being turned,
the fog behind and forgotten.

Sitting in the valley watching the snow rage,
the fire dimming low for want of wood,
I watch the candle burn dim and low with age
trying to gather the oxygen to go on.