Prairie Poetry   
  The Neighbors

Toughening against the moving white,
stinging cold she scrapes her sidewalk,
smiling as her devil-may-care young neighbors
come and go and come and go.

Inside he slips further away; wisping curls
of memory dissipate into ditch and shadow.

Six years ago, and four years after
the heart attack, he said simply,
"I don't shovel snow."

Today he does not know what a shovel is,
or even her name, and she,
the girl for whom he once broke all the rules,
bundled and scarfed against Dakota,
plays her part, and now takes care
of everything.

  John Gallagher
  Copyright © 2007 John Gallagher
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