Snowstorm List

By Susan Harlan
Snow. Image: Susan Harlan

Snow. Image: Susan Harlan

On the first night, I watch the snow in the street lamp, the manhole covers uncovered like dark moons, warm.

The next day, I have eggs.

I switch out the afghan on the couch because it’s covered with my dog’s hair, which bothers me all of a sudden.

I turn on lights and turn them off. Do dishes. Write a thank you card.

I pick up books and put them down and pick up other books. I break a binding (but on purpose).

I dust a few things, not too many.

I walk out on my front porch a number of times and stand there for as long as I can in a sweatshirt and check on the snow, just to remember it. It’s still there.

I read the next day. I eat soup. Chicken noodle. Also: tomato.

I put on a sweater.

I don’t have any tea, so I don’t drink tea. I pat my dog, take her for a walk. I drink bourbon, sleep, fold dishtowels.

I light candles and then remember to put them out. I clear out my head and then fill it up again.

I watch a movie I have seen before. And another.

I scrape the burn off toast, right into the sink, and the snow is still there.


open-uri20150201-3-2kdp0_profile_largeSusan Harlan teaches English at Wake Forest University, and her essays have appeared in venues such as The Guardian, The Toast, Roads & Kingdoms, The Morning News, Curbed National, Jezebel, and The Awl.

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