Study for “The Agony in the Garden”, Robert Walter Weir

I simmer in fear’s memory:
snowplows chortling close
and intimate in the duskblank,
their wake shouldering me
aside into snowbank where
the pear tree’s joints crack.
Swathed in polyester, I’m
trusting it’s armor. My father
maneuvers the snowblower
in strips. I’m relegated to our
gourd-curved driveway’s inlet
where tire spit fashioned slush
beyond the machine’s vigor.
50 words for snow, most of them
profane but several timid, wistful –
my father screams.
I spin, dreamstuck, my bucketshovel
sentinel, callous. Dad writhes in the snow
like a border collie in a bathtub, lacerated
hand tight to his chest like Uzzah’s to the ark.
He mutters pain, I howl powerless, the moment
stretched and
stripped and
smothered in the cold shawl of delirium.
If God is a cry in the street, hell
is a Father’s finger in the snow.