“The Blizzard Dream” by William Doreski

Telegraphy of rain on snow.
The black and white of the day
enhanced by shades of gray slush
simplify the village, revealing
a grimace of frustrated passion
almost every citizen enjoys.

Crouched in the little café,
I try to avoid drifting
out the door and into clouds
a mile or two overhead,
leaving my shadow staring up,
outraged because abandoned.

Recently I dreamt the blizzard dream,
knee-deep in dark as tough as dough.
I dreamed of my family, long gone,
my pets buried in lonely places,
my diplomas fallen from the walls
of vacant, burnt-out houses.

The rooms of those houses filled
with snow blown a thousand miles
from the frozen lakes of Winnipeg.
When I woke to the chitter of plows
I knew I’d sinned more honestly
that I had ever sinned before.

The coffee has cooled in my cup
so I rise to refresh it. The room
tilts, but I’ve learned to survive
a certain lack of dimension,
and make it back to my table
without spilling a single drop.

William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Dogs Don’t Care (2022). His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.

This poem won the third place prize in the Crystal Ox poetry contest in Winter 2023.