10-Line Tuesday

March 12, 2019

shoveling my mother’s driveway

We always complain about the hard swivel of Emily Lane, the way parking the car
becomes a kind of vehicular acrobatics, made less thrilling at the end
of the 4-hour drive from New Jersey. After Sunday’s incursion of snow, I find myself,
shovel in hand, bending like a monk, lungs drumming in my ears as I scoop the blade
along the curves and make piles at their border, where the asphalt meets the edges
of a buried front lawn. It feels like prayer in the way taking out the trash feels like
devotion, which is to say the resemblance can be seen only from a distance. I make
slow, stiff progress, then shake my boots off in the breezeway before coming inside,
where my mother is composing a late lunch, her silver hair haloing around her
as she leans over the cutting board, slicing the tomatoes into perfect circles.