Larry Levis Visits Easton, PA. During a November Freeze

I said “Dear Larry” as I put down his book, Elegy,
across the street from the Home Energy Center

and its two embellished secular Christmas trees
and its two red wreaths over red ribbon crosses

enshrining a thirty-inch stove in one of its windows
and a fifty-gallon water heater in the other,

knowing how wise he would have been with the parking lot
and the tree that refused against all odds and all

sane agreements and codicils to let its dead leaves
for God’s sake fall in some kind of trivial decency

and how he would have stopped with me always beside him
to watch a girl in a white fur parka and boots

build the first snowball on Northampton Street she collected
from the hood of a Ford Fairlane underneath that tree

and throw it she thought at a small speed-limit sign
although it landed with a fluff just shy of the twin

painted center lines inducing the three of us,
her lover, Larry, and me to make our own snowballs

from the hoods and fenders of our own Fairlanes although
she threw like none of us and to add to it

she was left-handed, so bless her, may she have
a good job and children and always be free of cancer

and may the two of us scrape some roofs before the
rain relieves us, and may we find gloves for our labor.

:: Gerald Stern, Last Blue (Knopf, 2000)

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