Weather by Tony Gloeggler

Weather Ben Newton

When we walk out the door,
Jesse’s respite worker asks him
about the weather. It’s February
in Maine and there’s snow
on the ground. He answers
“Clouds, wind, too cold.”
Still, I have to remind him
to zip his hoodie, ask maybe
we should go back inside,
change his sandals for socks
and boots. He blurts, “No
socks, no shoes” as I dig
my hands deeper into pockets,
trot to the car. His worker
turns down the radio,
shows him his cell phone.
A list of different cities
roll down the screen,
their current temperatures
next to them. The worker
points to one and Jesse
answers what he’d wear
if he were there, a coat,
or shorts and a tee shirt.
When the worker points
to another, Jesse pauses,
then says, “New York, Tony
house” and I wonder whether
he remembers that eight hour
U Haul drive when he moved
to Brooklyn the summer me
and his mom were in love.

Jesse, five and a half years old,
incessantly sweating and still
marching obsessively room
to room closing every window
tight; sitting on my lap, licking
the burnt orange remnants
of Extra Spicy Doritos off
his fingers as I talk on
the phone; subwaying
to the end of the F line
and jumping Coney Island
waves as it grows too dark
to see, playing Rosalita,
We’re Having A Party,
A Good Feelin’ To Know
on the stereo, blasting them
in the same exact order
anytime his mom called
to say sorry she’d be home
late again from work
as I lift him as high
as the ceiling, bounce
him on the bed over
and over until we both
run out of breath, ready
for a Beach Boys lullaby
to close our eyes, hopefully
help him, me, sleep
through the night, please.

 

First published in Trajectory.

 

 

Tony Gloeggler is a life-long resident of New York City. His work has appeared in Rattle, The Raleigh Review, Chiron Review, New Ohio Review, Mudfish and Cultural Weekly. His full length books include One Wish Left (Pavement Saw press 2002) and The Last Lie (NYQ Books/2010). Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015) was a finalist in the 2016 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and focuses on his connection to an ex-girlfriend’s autistic son and thirty-five years of managing group homes for mentally challenged men in Brooklyn.

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