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

Christi Krug

has been a frequent contributor to Personal Journaling and Writers Digest, and her fiction and poetry have appeared in Insight, The Fossil, our own Bumbershoot, and elsewhere.

She works as a writing coach in Vancouver, Washington and avoids frozen juice concentrates.  Website

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The Snow of Grape Juice

It snowed one time ago
Soupy dribbles filling chinks in the walk
White clods in the weeds behind our apartment
Mostly we get the everyday snow of hairy snowflakes
Growing from the freezer ceiling.
My brother stands with the door open
Airing small curd cottage cheese and half a browning apple,
Takes a can of grape juice; it’s a good day.
He pries the lucky silver coin lid,
Plops the slush into avocado green
Tupperware, the insides of the pitcher darkening
Purple like someone yelling.

Theodore runs faucet water. Laced with fluoride,
The last hope of teeth we don't brush.
Mix contents with three cans cold water.
Whoosh, one, for the punch-bruise on my arm,
Two for the school bells that ring when I’m late,
Three for the days Mother won’t get up in the morning.

From a sink bouquet of fallen forks, butter knives,
An egg beater, Theodore plucks a spoon.
Three cans water swirl fast into purple.
I wait on tiptoe, the way I scout the window for snow.
Theodore stirs faster, faster, a spoon storm shaking the world
With the nick-nock and rattle of plastic walls
Lilac bubbles climbing higher
A deep purple crater down the middle
And it all goes around and around.