Joseph Chaney: “The Snowplows”


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 NationYankeeBlack Warrior ReviewCrazyhorsePrairie SchoonerDogwoodStoneboatSpillway, Off the CoastThe CressetApple Valley Review, and Shark Reef. Chaney teaches literature and writing at Indiana University South Bend, where he serves as publisher of Wolfson Press.

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