Monday, February 15, 2010

when icicles hang by the wall

off the bushes to the side of the house, just starting to drip away, in the early morning. But alas, this wasn't a harbinger of the end of the winter, because it's snowing again. I was thrown off my guard for a moment yesterday when my father - on Skype - started to ask after Dick blowing on his nail. Almost certainly he didn't mean the University president; the contractors are called Pat or Zack or Bob; the only possible Dick whom we know and who came to mind is on a farm in South Jersey, and may indeed be blowing hard on his hands right now, like the man in E. F. Brewtnall's 1886 painting, which is available (to my horror) in all manner of "real copies" to hang in your own home, chilly shepherds with flocks of sheep, damp snow weighing down tree branches, and an ominously heavy wintry sky being evidently more popular on some walls than they would be around here. It was unclear whether my father just dropped in a quotation by way of conversational padding, or whether rolling it out somehow elevates the weather into something literary and hence less available to complain about

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