The Almanac

I saw two geese flying north above the black rooftops, honking like angry drivers at the throat of the palisades.

“Winter is near! Leave now before it swallows you whole.”

I watch them go and return to the book by the bearded man who proclaims there are millions of suns left.

But the geese are a memory house, and I set the book aside.

Then I think of winter, of the snow and the sweat that clings between my sweatshirt and skin as I shovel to the edge of the sidewalk, where it will turn black with fallen smog.

I recall the table fire in my living room, the spiced wine in the slow cooker, and the smell of musty hats and scarves that have rarely been washed laying rumpled in the plastic drawers.

I consider the Scottish cap that sits in the bottom of my hamper – the one that I said I would dry clean when you died.

This is only the second winter since you’ve been gone, and it still smells like you.

I wonder how harsh this winter will be if the geese are leaving this early.

What do they know anyway?

Nothing, I decide.

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