He knew Buffalo laughed
when the rest of the country
rushed to the grocery store to buy extra milk
and eggs, batteries for flashlights they never use,
a weather radio and canned peas.
He slid his twice-gloved fingers across the roof of the van,
the snow high enough now for him to walk next to tops of cars.
His back ached from shoveling the driveway
yesterday, he walked slowly in his moon boots
and breathed out, watching his heat form
in the air in front of him.
Snow got everywhere. But he was used to it,
knew he should get his boots out when the air turned dry
and put the shovel in his bedroom so it was easier to find.
He hated being the only brother
stuck at home, the budding one.
He knew what parts of the snow to avoid,
how to step just so he didn’t sink thigh-deep, unable to lift his leg
out of the heavy mass until another student passed on the way to school
and grabbed his arms, tugged him out.