New Year’s Night

Black as a car climbing an icy drive

on New Year’s night; ice-black

like a driveway flowing back

to cul-de-sac, a glacial tide

carrying my father’s driving

frustrations, his skidding, slipping

inabilities; pride-black like your gloves

and hat and black leather jacket thrown

on in spite of his snide-lipped, thankless

thinness, his crystalline refusal

of assistance; black as your snow

shovel chipping treadway through

ice for his tires to grab and manage black

asphalt; your breath crystalled and billowing

hot as blistered quartz set against cool

onyx-new night; sweat-black clouds

blooming out from under your pick-axe arms;

the rubber-black burn of his low-geared

futility; his car, black as abandonment, banked

below the frozen mailbox; the inky trudge

of his obstinacy up the work-

gouged ground, past your dark motions,

your ardent scarf-tie, thready-breathed

intentions, into the open black

hole of the house.

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