by Bill Yarrow
When I was eight years old, I stepped into
a snow bank in Pennsylvania and sank
in over my head. I remember looking up
through a hole in the snow and seeing
only brazen emptiness. I don't remember
feeling fear. I remember thinking, “This
is interesting.” Finally, I rescued myself
by pulling myself up on the hardened crust.
My family moved to Provo, Utah, where my
father took a railroad job. One day, the train
he was working was hit by an avalanche and
derailed. The snow broke the windows and
rushed in, filling the cars. Most of the passengers
suffocated. My father carved a breathing space
and waited for the rescuers. They skidded to the
accident, but they took too long. He didn't make it.
All rights reserved.
This poem appeared in The Orange Room Review and then was republished in my chapbook WRENCH (erbacce-press 2009) .
The title is a reversal of Goethe's title Dichtung und Wahrheit (translated as Poetry and Truth).
This piece has appeared in Fictionaut already. I'm "republishing" it in honor of the snow in Chicago today which so reminds me of my childhood back East.
The poem appears in Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX, 2012).