Snowbroth

The two children stamped on the iridescent crust the snowstorm had glazed across the sidewalk.

“Hold hands,” their mother, Sara, called down the block.

Tiny Human A, who was older than her brother by nearly five years, reached for Tiny Human B’s mittened hand. Tiny Human B tugged on the length of her arm as he reached a booted foot out to stomp some of the ice on the narrow hump of snow between the sidewalk and the street that, during the warmer months, rumbled with constant traffic. This morning, a steady stream of SUVs and Subarus braved the snow at a crawl.

“Eily,” Sara called. “Keep him away from the street.”

Tiny Human A yanked on her brother’s arm, pulling him back onto the sidewalk. He slipped, shrieking, and A grabbed him by the armpits. She steadied him and then showed him how to pack a snowball from the grey-white mounds on the neighbor’s yard.

On the porch of their own house Sara kicked at a mess of slush that had gathered near the front door. She hadn’t thought to bring in the bikes or the jogging stroller or B’s yellow riding fire truck. A layer of white dust covered it all–powdered sugar showered down on a undercooked cake.

Sara stooped. She cupped the snowbroth in her bare hands and she heard her daughter laugh as a snowball smacked her coat.

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