Allegheny Mission, Big Spring Baptist, Community
Christian Fellowship: Saturday night news scrolls
every church name in seven counties, services
more than postponed. We don't need the meteorologist
to whisper inclement, to warn us to stay indoors.
We have a window shaped like a television set.
Tree lights flicker through a scrim of curtain
next door where the pastor of Tri-Stone Christian
and his wife plot their empty Sunday, sermon abandoned.
No one will hear anything about I am the holiness
we are holy we pray for you and maybe praise his name.
The plow blinks yellow, scrapes the darkness,
shivers the drifts on our roofs, the hanging icicle lights.
Inside, silence wafts through the heating ducts. My son
is asleep while the heavens smudge from black to red.
Snow sky. Hydrology. In the cul-de-sac, there's nothing on
except a few panes of the neighbor's windowglass
and some tilting FOR SALE signs. There's nothing on
except the wind pulling at our siding, clouds bruising the sky.
The news says it was a snow TKO, one for the history books,
and in the morning, between storms, the neighbors shovel,
go out to buy bread. I set my son upright again and again
Ain the high drifts in our yard. I'm ok, he says each time I right
in his bib pants and boots. The pitch and yaw. Convenience.
We drive tenderly to the 7-Eleven. Milk. Maybe a newspaper.
Rock salt. He asks what convenience means. I don't
have an answer. I think holy. I think light. Later I tell him
something about comfort. The news drags in the evening,
and with it, more snow. Our driveways retreat again
under the onslaught of white. We rest our weary feet
on the ottoman, listen to the neighbor's dog, who barks
at the red sky then stops when she hears the thin crescent
moon wailing. There are truckers stuck on the interstate
who haven't eaten since yesterday. There are families
sharing one thin blanket on a high school floor. The news
says stay in your vehicle, don't wander and get frostbitten,
don't spin your wheels--you'll only dig in deeper. We are
glowing with televised radiance so nothing can hurt us.
The news says this is an ongoing situation.