I wrote this poem when a thought came to my mind of winter coming in out of the cold, escaping his own creation, and enjoyed watching it grow from there.
Winter came late,
brushing the snowflakes from his
coat, and ordering a cappuccino
at the counter. He issued
apologies and meekly blamed
Caroline, his girlfriend
for years, “Her damned slow driving.”
She was outside,
parking the car.
He said he would make
the enchiladas, though,
the ones with chipotle
sauce, a recipe he learned
during the time he spent in
a hacienda outside Phoenix.
Other than that, he giggled,
showing his brown
teeth and cracked white lips,
he spent most of his days there
during the summer of ninety-seven
in a drunken
stupor, walking about
with its earth colored,
fake adobe walls, its birds-of-paradise
wilting in massive pots,
throwing his shoes at the windows,
and yelling at poor Caroline. He would wake
each morning, or early afternoon,
humbling himself to her,
kneeling to her, begging forgiveness,
he was in boxers and a stained t-shirt,
the bubbling sound
of the tiled fountain outside
serenading them through the bedroom window.
No one really cared for
Winter. We tolerated him, his
habits, his boisterous blubbering,
his crude mannerisms.
Perhaps we all believed there was some
we would be owed
for sheltering his sprit for so long.
He was our fragile uncle, of sorts,
with frozen lies and petrified dreams,
blowing about with a ferocious mind
and awful imaginative will.
But he was a part of us,
as a community,
and he also
made one hell of an enchilada
plate, which we ate ravenously,
merrily, while sucking down our beer and
laughing at the corner table.