My dad shovels the snow from our driveway
Like a monk cleaning his monastery.
I watch him from the bedroom window,
Back bent into old age,
The cupped hands of his tool raising
The snow’s soft animal
And putting it down again amongst its kind.
Like a prayer, the thousand doves of winter
Fly up off the ground and settle
In a spot a few inches to the side
As if to beg pardon
for a deer who might wander by that evening.
When the sun goes down, they huddle for warmth
And forget how to move.
I shake their feathers from my head
Once I step inside.