Snowplows move back and forth along the streets,
as if scanning, or cleaning memory,
scraping the surface, driving snow and slush
to the curb. After the big weekend storm,
the trucks have the neighborhood to themselves.
I can hear them from my bed. I can tell
when one crosses Sunnyside, turns around
in the cul-de-sac, and gears up again.
If I were a snowplow operator,
this would be my favorite time of day.
Clearing the roads for others, living in
the now before anything meaningful
happens, they’re making things ready, not yet
thinking of what, or needing to know why.
Joseph Chaney’s poetry has appeared in many journals, including The Nation, Yankee, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Dogwood, Stoneboat, Spillway, Off the Coast, The Cresset, Apple Valley Review, and Shark Reef. Chaney teaches literature and writing at Indiana University South Bend, where he serves as publisher of Wolfson Press.