The blowing snow gives body
to psychotic shapes the wind assumes,
going sixteen ways at once
in a night that’s hard to get across.
A New York City bus is stuck,
a snowplow too. The subway’s down.
Most everyone is still in bed,
but I put on an overcoat
and go outside to get to work.
On Broadway I’m alone and walk
eleven blocks in the middle lane
at 4:00 a.m., the only place
that’s clear enough. The snow is piled
some four feet high and drifting still
in a wind that’s only getting worse.
I carry a blackjack going out
so if there’s trouble I at least
won’t go to the hospital alone,
but in a blizzard before dawn
no criminals are on the street,
just me and a Nigerian,
Babafemo from Ibadan,
who drives a cab and stops for me
and maybe has a gun somewhere.
We both have promises to keep.
John Foy’s first book is Techne’s Clearinghouse (Zoo Press, 2004). His poems have appeared in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (Ohio University Press, 2009), Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Criterion, Parnassus, Cimarron Review, The Raintown Review, Barrow Street, Think, and other journals, and on line at Poetry Daily, Nervous Breakdown, Umbrella, linebreak, and Big City Lit. He works as a senior financial editor at Itaú BBA Securities. He lives in New York with his wife, son, and daughter.