‘Milkman’ by Tom Sexton

On this snowy night, from Alaska comes a poem with a snowy owl, courtesy of our desk in the West manned by Tom Sexton. Here’s a Lowell memory for our readers. For those who don’t know, Tom Sexton is a distinguished alumnus of Lowell High School and former Poet Laureate of Alaska, as well as author of a short shelf of books.—PM 



The sound of a truck door sliding

open before the sun hit cobblestone,

footsteps on our narrow backstairs

light as a cat’s, a ghost’s, then

the bell-like sound of empty bottles

being picked up and replaced with

two regular and one homogenized

by a man who never failed to deliver,

a joke milkmen shared with each other.

He would appear even in the worst snow

storm of the year with his truck’s lights

glowing like the eyes of a snowy owl.


—Tom Sexton (c) 2013