It’s the first storm of the winter
and the worst since 1888,
the girl on television said.
I keep slipping in my leather-soled shoes.
Twice I’ve turned into a windmill
in my efforts to keep from falling.
At the top of the stairs leading down
to the subway, Johnnie watches me,
not just with his eyes but with his arms and legs.
He’ll do his best to save the old man.
That’s how I must have looked at him
when he was five or six years old.
Now he’s twenty-six, and it seems
we’ve traded places.
Why are you laughing?
he asks me.
The honest answer is:
Because you look so funny, standing there
like that, my beautiful son,
and because I’ve loved you
for such a long time and because this
is the finest storm I’ve ever seen
and everything is exactly as it should be.