Tuesday, January 06, 2015


by S. E. Jihad Levine (All Rights Reserved)

As the snow gently falls outside,
covering my porch steps and sidewalk,
I put on my hijab, jacket, and gloves,
preparing to go outside to shovel and salt.

Memories flood my vision from
long long ago,
when I was a kid
on a day just like this one,
when the neighborhood would be
crawling with kids.

We raced from house to house,
snow shovels slung over our small shoulders,
younger brothers and sisters trailing behind us,
trying to keep up,
lugging little bags of salt.

We kids knocked on every door in
the neighborhood
trying to get business,
even undercutting the
kids behind us
by as low as a nickel.
Ah, the competition!
What businessmen and
we were learning to be!

Moms, dads, and older folks
were waiting for us.
Adults shoveling their own snow
or snow blowers
or snow tractors
in those days
were unheard of.
Shoveling sidewalks was a kid's job.
Even the big kids would take on the
challenge of clearing driveways.

There were also fringe benefits to
the job of
shoveling snow.
After we were done and our
pay was handed to us, often
we were given hot chocolate or
warm cookies!

Oh ... when I was a kid.

When all we wanted for Hanukkah
or Christmas
was a snow shovel
so we could earn our own
money to buy those
toys and things our parents
wouldn't or couldn't buy or get for us.

Shoveling snow was the way ...

I smile, remembering,
as I go out and start shoveling.
Not a kid outside in the neighborhood
even though there's no school today.
No kids out sled riding,
Making snow men
or snow angels,
no snowball fights ...

Oh wait, there's a kid!
My neighbor's kid,
watching me shovel my walk
through the parted curtains of his
living room window,
the glare of the family's big screen TV
glows behind him.
I wave to him, but
he quickly disappears when he
realizes that he's been seen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember, too...and I feel sorry for your poor neighbor boy.