Readers Write: Field work

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I was taking a rest, watching you continue to clear a path
From the house, down to the white street,
Lifting each shovel of snow onto the thick piles
On either side, a perfect pitch.
We’d broken two plastic shovels already.

I thought about how we met that winter back in college,
Full of the whims of youth. Then our long distance
Correspondence, me to grad school in Texas,
You to work in the big city.

But still we married, dreaming and following the currents
Of the fickle economy and changing politics of the 80s.
We crisscrossed half the country and survived,
Our love thrived whole.

In Oklahoma we sought the help of a senator who prevented
Fannie Mea from foreclosing on a house we bought
To move our family from a one bedroom apartment
As the job market took a long nosedive.

I’m thinking of your sore shoulder, and the intractable issue
That when the lungs become infected bleed from both halves,
Each time shaking my world to the core of my being,
Formed into memory.

You stop to rest and we smile, feeling good.
Our faces are flush like a birthmark we carry for one another.
Valentines are stained red and need last for perfection.
A love-knot, always and forever.

Stephen Cipot
Garden City Park

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