February Fifth

It always snows on the fifth of February. Even when it doesn’t. After midnight, an inch, maybe two, falls and settles softly. Enough so the driveway must be cleared. In the early grey morning we go into the cold alone to put things back to right. We push the snow, lift and blow it aside. The clouds darken even before we are done and snow falls again. Wet and heavy now. A cold slush raining down from a sky so low it denies heaven. A strange bolt of winter lightning shoots through us and darkness comes to stay, like white snow piled at the curb turning a putrid black. The temperature falls hard. The ground freezes so deep it puts the lie to hell. Stones crack, heave, and rise up to litter a field. We stand beside an open hole, trying to remember feeling warm, and wondering how to put all this somehow back to right.