The snow may be 9 1/2″ deep, but

I’m a resourceful He-Manly man, man.

Up at 5 a.m.

Layering layers upon layers.

I stagger around, puffy, prepared.

Stagger and sass, sass some more,

dawn dreaming in the inky dark.

As the sun slowly rises, grunting

like some 47-year-old ex-NFL quarterback,

I am the magnificent soloist maestro,

wielding my shovel heroically,

I dig a moat around my mansion,

clear the way for my wife and her wee dark-green Honda.

Staggering back inside, I take off some of my layers,

wake the kid, kiss the wife goodbye,

bulk up our bellies with oatmeal,

dress him in layers, vaseline his tiny gob and cheeks.

I relayer myself, and then we go for the bus.

Two grand staggerers on an epic intrepid Dr. Zhivago walk,

bobbing and weaving through dirty gray snowbanks,

which have fresh crunchy snow layering their tops, and,

really, I wouldn’t mention the frozen dog shit,

except it’s fucking everywhere,

so that 31st is a toxic knickerbocker glory.

When the bus arrives, its engine stuttering as it vibrates against snow banks

I climb up the dirty mountain, lift the boy up and over

and nod at my fellow warrior, the bus driver.

Once home, I peel off my layers. Blow

my nose so hard it hurts my ears,

savor a cup of tea, listen

as my knee cartilage creaks. Listen

as my neighbors struggle to start their engines. Listen

to the ranting on Sports Radio. Wonder

at the warm wire I feel through the muscle in my heart.

Struggling up the stairs, turning up the heat, I

run a bath, spit out snot and get naked.

I bathe, ponder my aging balls.

Look at the clock: 9 a.m.

Now it’s under the covers and


IVOR IRWIN is a native of Manchester, England. He is the author of A Peacock or A Crow and has published writing in Sonora Review, The Sun, Playboy, Shankpainter, The Long Story, Actos de Inconsciencia, The Review of Contemporary Fiction and various other journals. He writes a weekly column on Premier League soccer for Global Football Today. He thinks that a kidnapper who quotes Malthus may auger well for future sociopaths!
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