On the Steps of Saint Bavo

Movies and a winter storm and a fire
and this couch and you and laughter,
like my Mother’s leg
I bear-hugged and cried
when she tried to leave me
in kindergarten.
Did that still-religious child get some message,
some ache from God
that told how few Mother hugs
he had left?

And every chore on my list
remains undone,
even after the winter delivered snow day
after snow day.
Every loose task
piling up in polar drifts,
trying, like the cold, crooked hands of nuns,
to peel me away from you.

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