A Clear Revenge

A Clear Revenge

Where will I go now?

All the roads are blocked by snow
and I don’t know where you are

I run with my shovel
to clear the way down streets
the recalcitrant refuse to clear

because it’s better to
get to the post office for you
than to kill a neighbor or
wait to slip and fall and
wait for a lawyer to sue
speaking in pain with broken bones

but for that one or two houses
who clear their driveways but
not their sidewalks I’d say
good luck with the locusts.

— Douglas Gilbert


7 thoughts on “A Clear Revenge

  1. I think i’m confused about a couple things. Why the title “A Clear revenge” Who are you wanting to get revenge on? The person who wanted you to go to the post office? Did you fall? I hope you’re ok if you did fall. I’d take care of you if you were hurt. I’m confused about the last stanza too, with the locusts. Did you slip on someone’s sidewalk?
    It kind of reminds me of my dad telling me about the blizzard of 78 in Louisville. It was about a month after I was born. He said there was so much snow that he dug his car out but the roads were too bad to go anywhere.
    Obviously I am a little confused with this one, but it’s not your writing, it’s just me – I’m not catching on to things like i should be lately, so you might have to spell it out for me. I’ve had a bad case of the blues again this winter and it’s clouding my head up. I started taking vitamin D3, maybe it’ll simulate sunshine in my body or something. I doubt it but it can’t hurt to try.

    1. Hmm, yeah it’s very unclear. Where people tried even a little to clear the snow, the sidewalk is passable but it only takes one or two who didn’t try at all to make the boulevard un-walkable with snow and ice and then you have to walk in the road and dodge cars. I’m OK, thanks. I know what you mean about needing a little sunshine. No, I don’t think it’s you. The poem’s a jumble. I went to the post office to mail a letter to the UK (England) because I didn’t know how much postage I needed. I wrote some political satire comments and satirical poems on a website which I thought they liked so I said I’d send my book. The letter was to notify them it was coming so they wouldn’t think it was junk mail. But anyway, it was a stupid thing to do,,, I just tried to put down something… I don’t think it means anything coherent… Maybe if I think of a theme I’ll elaborate and clarify…I haven’t felt like writing anything…

      1. Yeah I can see how that would make it hard to walk anywhere, be careful around the cars. People don’t pay enough attention when they’re behind the wheel add a little snow and ice and it’s a recipe for disaster. So was the revenge part for the people who didn’t shovel their sidewalks? I’ve never been the revenge-type so I don’t really understand it completely. The way I see it, wasting my time, effort and emotions on getting revenge just sinks me to the level of the person I would want to get revenge on. It just has a negative vibe to it all around. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few who have done really bad things to me but I just figure they’ll get whatever they’re due eventually. Karma always has a way of coming back around full circle it seems like. I’ve watched it happen many times.

        I was excited, my son shoveled the driveway for me this last time! I think it was the first time he’s ever finished the job, he used to get distracted and end up building a snowman or making snow angels instead. I’m sure they’ll like your book and appreciate you sending it to them. I haven’t felt like writing anything either and the few words I’ve managed to squeak out weren’t good at all. There’s a couple I meant to edit a little more and post but I haven’t gotten around to it…

      2. If you’re still cold from walking through all that snow, there’s a hot chocolate poem on my page. I finally worked on one of the ideas i’d started on.

    2. That’s interesting. The locusts I suppose are the karma. Actually, I once did the opposite. When I was a kid we rented apartments in two-family houses. I was annoyed because of just a few people you couldn’t walk to the corner to get to the main highway. So one day I got up early with a snow shovel and I discovered the technique of starting a small “runway” by clearing an area of snow near where I was standing and then I took a running start and ran with the plow all the way down the block to the corner. When I got stuck, I started a new runway and ran with the shovel another long distance. In less than 15 minutes maybe, I cleared a small path to our distant corner. Then I started towards the near corner, but I didn’t want anyone to see me so when I heard our neighbor waking up, I stopped and went in, but I had finished his sidewalk, but not the next two to the near corner. I saw him come out with his shovel but he was puzzled because his sidewalk was done. So he went to his neighbor’s house and shoveled her sidewalk. She came out and was surprised and pleased that he shoveled her sidewalk. So anyway the path to the near corner eventually got done. But the path to the far corner stayed narrow because none of those people felt like doing anything. I was glad I could make a path for myself without being called a fool or an idiot — I went out early enough so no one saw me. The near corner has a wide path and the far corner had a narrow path, but it was good enough for me to get where I wanted to go. I was glad I had started early enough to sneak back into the house before my Mother could interrogate me with, “why would you do such a stupid thing. They’re supposed to do it — it’s none of your business. You look like an idiot… you didn’t even get paid… blah, blah,…” but anyway, I avoided it. The thing is, if I had asked, they would have refused, and I wouldn’t have the path I wanted.

      1. Your runway technique is a good one, although I bet it would’ve been a lot of work, especially if there was very much snow, it gets so heavy when there’s several inches…I don’t think anyone would’ve called you a fool or an idiot. I think they would probably have said thank you (or at least that’s what they should’ve done). Maybe they had some sort of a health problem, like a bad back or were sick or something so they were unable to do it. They may have given you a few bucks or some cookies or something as a thank you. If my son took it upon himself to do something like that without expecting or asking for anything in return I would be very proud of him and would make sure to reward him in some way…i definitely would not be calling him an idiot. I’m sorry that you had to deal with someone who treated you like that as a kid. Because you did something kind and had shoveled in front of your neighbor’s house, he kindly shoveled in front of the other neighbor’s house…so you sort of started off a chain of kind events. If I was a little girl that lived on your street at the time, and had seen you shoveling the sidewalk to help everyone who needed to get to the corner, I would’ve had the biggest crush on you…

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