"Breakfast Blown from Canada" & "Your Snow Tunnel"

Breakfast Blown from Canada

Another egg cracked, another omelet browning, flipped in a pan.

The north wind this morning tastes

of breakfast blown from Canada.

We agree that cast-iron pans cough up the finest omelets. We agree to welcome the snowstorm

with smiles concealing our age.

Distinctions between city life and rural life no longer matter now that the holiday season booms

like a tragic old circus tent. Tall pines nod. Leathery oak leaves

rattle and clot on the driveway. You perch on a stump and observe.

Why omelets? you ask with your hands

puddled like tidepools in your lap.

The wind swaggers with its freight of dolor. Today the omelet seems like the better option since we have a dozen eggs fresh

from chickens that don’t know better.

Instead of prowling our badly

surveyed perimeter let’s duck

indoors and unfold our psyches

for comfortable places to sit.

Then I’ll crack a couple more eggs,

beat in a little milk, heat the pan,

and render a perfect half-moon

crisp on the outside, moist inside,

like the expression you sported

the moment you birthed yourself

in a sparkle of honest wit.

Your Snow Tunnel

You’ve built a portable tunnel of chicken wire packed with snow.

Ten feet long, easy to carry. We place it on Boston Common in a troubled winter gale and crawl

through ten feet of sudden calm and emerge in MacArthur Park in the heart of Los Angeles under a statue of Prometheus. Palm trees, bursts of greenery, greet like political handshakes. I wish we could walk around the lake,

but it’s warm, and if the snow of your tunnel melts we’re trapped in California’s naked glare. So we reposition it, crawl through,

and emerge in Civic Center Park in Denver, facing the capitol with its gold dome winking through

the rugged grain of a blizzard. Rather than a Greek figure, the nearest public sculpture is a huge red chair with a tiny horse perched on it, staring fearless

into the blowing mountain weather.

In the art museum we slurp coffee from pottery mugs and plan our next crawl. Maybe

someplace we’ve never been,

Billings, Casper, Boise or Pierre.

You fear right-wing conspiracies,

though, and prefer a city

used to apparitions like us. So we re-enter the tube and crawl to Grant Park and emerge in view of frozen Lake Michigan. Ice has heaped in house-sized chunks

and slabs, glittering in sunlight the color of last year’s underwear.

We agree that Chicago’s a hometown

worth coming home to, the streets

woven too firmly for dream-lives to unravel. On State Street we sit on stools at a big steamy window

and watch pedestrians in parkas

shiver along in quickstep. After a lunch of scrambled eggs

we return to the tunnel and point it

straight toward Boston although

we’ll have to crawl under

the Canadian border twice,

emerging ten feet later, only

slightly altered by inhaling more distance than we can digest.

William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in various journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His new poetry collection is A Black River, A Dark Fall. He writes a blog and his Twitter handle is @wdoreski