Winter for a Moment Takes the Mind
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Dori Appel’s

poems have appeared in many journals, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Tea Party, Prairie Schooner, and Yankee, as well as several anthologies. Her collection of poems, Another Rude Awakening, is forthcoming in 2008 from Cherry Grove Collections.

Her plays have been widely produced, Girl Talk and Hot Flashes, both co-authored with Carolyn Myers, are published by Samuel French, Inc. , and several monologues are included in anthologies. Although she lives and writes in Ashland, Oregon, she grew up in Chicago, graduated from the University of Michigan, and lived for many years in Boston—all places that provided inspiration for cold poems!  Visit her website.

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After the morning’s caffeine
jolt and the white-on-white
of doughnut sugar crumbs

the day’s work starts. Chilly
coins drop into cups
covering the final coffee drops

while overhead snow falls
through the faulty ozone layer—
more white crumbs. Now

the sidewalk has become
a gray-brown sludge, traffic slows,
and the grimy pock-marked cups

are giving up the ghost. Already
the curbside bins are filled
with tattered styrofoam

which someone is flattening
with fists and forearms,
making it squeak.


Where It Goes

At night an army of trucks
rumbles through the street
to carry off the snow.
In the morning we re-discover
the sidewalk.

Gray! Gray! Just like we thought!

But where do they take
the dirty snow by cover
of night, while decent
people sleep? The truth is,

they carry it to a far away city,
a mud-puddle reflection of
the one we know, piling it
into towering hills for
kids in grimy coveralls
to slide on. Watching from

behind streaked windows,
their parents drink coffee
and smoke cigarettes.
They never holler out

“Get off that snow and come to supper!”

Supper there
won’t be any colder
in an hour or two.