Washington (February 2003)

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse28 Feb 2016

Unrelenting snow
smothers a nation's
proud landmarks.

Alone I wade through
waist-deep drifts
piled higher,

imprisoning Lincoln
and Jefferson, and
shutting down the city.

The Mansion, its lawn
white as its walls
and columns,

defined by black
separating spiked railings;
and between

the icon and my cold
wet feet, a heap stirs,
a termites' nest

hesitantly moves,
cascading small avalanches
down dishevelled slopes:

a man, newborn,
emerges from his
pavement, stands up

and shakes the cruel
two day blizzard
slowly, very slowly

from his
beaten, bowed,
sack-covered back.