Unexpected on a day like this—
sun shuttling through the 125th Street bridge,
plastic strung in Harlem's elms like tattered wreaths:
unseasonable, unreasonable spring.
Under the red shadow of the Grant tenements
lunchtime noshers clatter china at Bettolona,
dogwalkers spread out on the grass in Sakura Park,
men from the halfway home
drag their deckchairs into the street.
Someone has left a string of Christmas lights
blinking a tired morse on the windowsill.
Someone has forgotten something.
Something is forgotten.
So take the phone off the hook;
pour another drink.
No point in worrying about anything.
No point worrying.
Then, suddenly, clear sky snow
in a cold confetti over the Hudson.
A silent tickertape, that huge white falling
over the sidewalks and taxis,
laundromats, bodegas, outpost libraries.
Is this how the news will arrive
of my father's death?
Settling lightly over the heads of pedestrians
as they hurry from the subway
in black goosedown coats,
evaporating before it even touches their hair
but bowing down, again and again, to the ground.