it is snowing in new york in march
the highway through the catskills is impassable
so i am once again faced with the insurmountable dilemma
of how to fold my entire body and a bottle of wine into a motel bathtub.
the drain leaks,
i can feel the cold concrete on my back through the bottom of the tub,
and all i can think of
is danville virginia
and being fourteen
and building a porch for a family
whose back door had previously opened onto a mire of mud
one and a half feet down.
and pausing
in the afternoon sun
in the south
in august
a red bandanna tied around my hair
to drink cool water from a pump
with two little brown boys
who wore ripped shorts
and whose bare backs were already strong
their delicate fingers set off by the contrast of their fingernails.
and laughing
throwing water at each other
and for a few minutes forgetting
and enjoying the company of a stranger.
like the woman
who runs this motel
who gave me a room for the night
when i had no money
because i reminded her of her daughter.