Tuesday, April 16, 2013


            “It’s April, and it’s snowing,” he said.
            “I know,” she said. She stood at the window and looked at the roof of the house next door, the veil of snow outlining the shingles and the roof growing whiter by the minute, by the second, 
whiter and then whiter.
            She could see right into the kitchen next door, a man at the sink, rinsing something—a coffee cup? soup bowl? "It’s my realty show," she’d said just the day before. "The Neighbors’ Kitchen Window."
            “You need something to do,” he had said. “Get a job. Learn to knit.”
            “I have something to do,” she’d said and threw the rag at him, the rag she’d just used to mop up the coffee he’d spilled.
            He ducked, and the rag slapped the wall with a satisfying smack and then a soft skid to the floor—where it still lay.
            “Going to snow all day,” he said.
            “I hope so,” she said.
            “But it’s April.”
            “Spring,” he said.

            The man at the kitchen sink next door was now drying the bowl and the cup, slowly, deliberately, leaning towards the window to watch the snow as he dried the curve of the bowl, the ear of the cup. He set them on the counter next to the sink, silently, without a sound—she was sure of that. He was a quiet man. He leaned towards the window again, put one hand, then the other on the window frame, lifted the window, unlatched the screen and stuck out his right hand to the wrist, flattened and turned upward and watched—she watched too—they both watched as his hand was outlined in white, a sheen of snow coating the thumb, four fingers, his palm, an inch of wrist.
            She held her breath as he must be doing to keep the hand so still, and, when it was painted an even, perfect white, watched as he eased it back into the light of his kitchen, watched as he held it flat over the sink and let the snow fade in the warm, yellow light until his pale, pink flesh returned. He dried the hand as slowly as he’d caressed the ear of the cup, finger by finger by finger, then he closed the window, latched the screen, and turned out the light.
            “It shouldn't be snowing. It's April,” her husband said for the third time.
            “It's a spring ballet,” she said, "a beautiful spring ballet," then ruffled open the newspaper before he could ask her to explain what was beyond explanation.

© 2013 Kathleen Coskran


  1. Sometimes that's me washing the cup. I wonder if anyone sees my hand catch the snowflakes?