From heaven it falls on the gray pitted ice
that has been here since December.
In the gutter rivulets erode piles
of dirt and road salt into small countries
and the morning is so dark, in school
teachers turn on fluorescent lights
and everyone comes in smelling of damp wool.
From heaven it falls, just the opposite
of prayer, which I send up
at the traffic light: please
let me begin over again, one
more time over again, wipe the slate
clean, the same way after school
janitors, keys jangling from
belt loops, will use a wet rag and wipe
the school day off, so there is only
the residue, faint white on the smooth
surface. It's the same way
the infield looks before the game
begins, or the ice on a rink
between periods. All new again
for the moment and glistening.
Imagine each day you get to start
again and again. Again. How many
days does the janitor enter the room
of your soul, wipe it clean
go out into the hallway
and push his broom
down the long corridor, full
of doors to so many rooms.