Jim Zola



The Long Road of the River of Stars

In upstate New York it’s snowing again.
A man slams the frozen car door with a gloved hand.
He slips on ice and grips the mirror
to keep from falling. He has three hours to live.
I suppose in that time he will think of his children
who orbit his life like satellites. Sometimes
the signals are faint and he wonders
how souls so connected untether.
The luxury of memory is that we forget.
He went years without seeing his own mother.

The story’s details are blurred like the outline of trees,
houses, this night with snow damped in streetlight.
The man doesn’t give a damn, all he knows
is that the car door is frozen shut
and he needs to finish Christmas shopping.
I'm the one who keeps adding the stars.


Photo Credit: Katelyn Mulcahy