It Snowed All Day

It snowed all day – the first snow
of the season hallmarked
with slit-open desperation
It is different this time
I bought new boots yesterday
That was lucky!
There was no heat at home
(a printed excuse pasted
to every door and inside elevators
said it was an emergency)
I am not poor now and I pay high price
for a home that doesn’t have heat
The staff frequently put lies to the walls
signed by the manager
with added apology for inconvenience
at the bottom
“This is exemplary hypocrisy”
I tell my daughter pointing at them
My fingers cold
I was dropping angry words
at the walls and the tropical fish
in a small bowl all morning
She understood and hung still
in the cold water of her bowl
I complain habitually – soon
the Lady of the Office arrives
thermometer in her hand sticking out
as if she’s a doctor on a house-call
Within moments we have diagnosis
“Yes, my dear,”
she concludes every year
“you are insane”
I swallow my anger and decide to get fat
by next winter
Then I’ll inspire fear – I could eat them
for lunch and have a beer
It was on the way to the bank
on Yonge Street that I remembered
how lucky I was
to have new boots
and small knitted gloves
that made my hands look like
cutouts from craft paper
Out on the snowy streets
icy and cold
I treaded in my rubber soles
to the school on Avenue Road
where my baby waited for me
It was dark and the winter idyll glittered

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