In the house where I grew up, the living room was longest
on Friday night, no school for two days, and safe with the snow
outside the picture window. The drapes were open because my brother
needed to stand on the red bricks of the fireplace hearth and fly –
in his blue Superman cape, all night until bedtime –
over to the window to see his reflection.

The weather now somehow reminds me of this. The plumber and
his son are upstairs in the loft, so I have brought down gifts and
paper, spread them over the lounge floor. My lists of what to send
to whom are in my mind, on old envelopes. I can camp out here,
burn a candle, write to old ladies in nursing homes; prisoners;
my brother who lives where no one looks out the windows much.

An acquaintance stops by; he saw me through the open blinds,
all innocent lamplight at dusk. He admires the new boiler
and laughs at the chaos but understands distant destinations.
He smiles at the autumn leaves, both broken and whole,
I’ve glued to the front door. I’m not sure
why he stopped. His visit is maybe a message from someone else,
a mutual friend – not the right man either – but the goodnight kiss
on my cheek is a dusting of snow, a reassurance that we are all
where we should be tonight: him and his friend, the plumber and his son,
my brother and me.

Candyce Lange

If you have any thoughts about this poem, 
Candyce Lange    would be pleased to hear them