björkholmen snö

one year ago today
i arrived in sweden
on a slow snow train
to winter’s nevermind
& to black mornings
deathly afternoons
& mile deep blizzards

people did not smile
at each other in town
& the pub was like
an extra from LOTR:
littered with snugs &
corner tables hiding
mysterious drunks

today, one year older,
i’m wearing pajamas
again, a woolen scarf
& thermal leggings –
the windows are open
only for an hour or so
just to let in some air

i don’t look at the faces
of the old people lining
up at the systembolaget
for cut-price alcohol
nor at the homeless
man who sleeps every
night in the railway stn

four seasons have now
attacked the old admiral’s
house with little success,
flinging ice, water & air
plus the occasional TV
aerial at us & hating us,
seemingly, at random

we taped shopping bags
over our windows last
summer just to get some
sleep; then autumn came
& went without the winds
& hail that everyone spoke
of with frozen inevitability

& last night it snowed,
finally, for the first time
in a year – but the snow
was just like dandruff
on the still-warm earth
& by this afternoon it
will be gone away again

i worry about the rabbits
who live somewhere in
the park near our house
& how they will survive
should it really snow …
& whether their warren
will freeze or close up

& come spring will they
be back out in the open
air, their little white tails
bobbing like in real life,
skipping over the path
as if we weren’t ever even
here, in sweden, at all?

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