Snow at Home

April 3, 2008
By Shelby Rachleff, Portola Valley, CA

The first time I remember it snowing at home
I was seven, and fully believed in magic.
We had moved two years before,
And the house, the one with the oak,
Still felt new.

I sat on the porch on the side of the house,
Hugging my bare knees and watching the sky.
I shivered and shook, as my cheeks turned pink
From the cold.

I can’t quite recall who sat inside,
Except for my cousin, back when her hair was curly and red,
And I was still fascinated by its bounce.

But for those few moments, when rain turned to snow
In front of my eyes, and their eyes, and the oak tree’s eyes,
It was just me.

My mother was in the kitchen-
I remember it now-
Perched on the counter, watching Jake play, laughing along.
The kitchen was warm, and smelled like Hippie Soup-
My mother’s consecrated recipe from her Deadhead days.
Not that I knew what that meant then, exactly.
Just that it was magic.

And I sat there on the porch, the one on the side of the house by
The three person swing that didn’t go as high as the ones for
Just one.

And when the first flake fell on my hair, on
A strand that had fallen into my eyes,
I felt it.

And the oak felt it, too, and smiled at me with its swaying

And I smiled back, and went inside.

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