The Butler Pennsylvania Poems

Sledding at Oak and Pearl

Deep white covered all the streets
leading up to Oak and Pearl
where a road block
from which a red lantern hung
was planted in the snow,
and all of us would gather there
with sleds,
some holding them up like shields
others kneeling,
most sitting with booted heels
sunk in snow.

To break the tension
someone would run,
slam a small chest down
on varnished boards
and all the rest would follow
in flurried wake through white
to glide and turn at Penn,
and then while coasting
out over the smooth white crest
with head and chest uplifted
behold our town,
a hamlet of soft white homes
and smoking chimneys
before crossing Monroe
then on down to where
a foot would drag
to make the turn on Elm,
that last steep stretch
to Brady's ashes
that finally scratched us to a halt.

And then back up again
on frozen feet,
just one more time,
to the red lantern at the top
where all of winter's bliss
would be pressed
into one last rapturous ride.

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