Poems and art by Mo Conlan
not how many inches fell
or why warm air hovering above the cold
rained down ice before the flakes came.
Or how many cars ran off the road,
reported by the earnest woman on TV.
I write about that feeling
as it begins,
plinking softly against the roof and window.
That excited feeling Something Is Happening.
Mother helps us find our boots and jackets and mittens.
We layer up from tights and two pairs of socks
to pajama bottoms then snow pants and sweaters –
until we barely can move so padded are we.
We head for Siebenthaler’s hill
for a heart-pounding tobbagan ride down, down,
down that mini-mountain, one of my sisters
or brothers in front, I tucked tightly behind,
the driver shouting “lean” to bypass bumps.
We spin down in metal saucers. Streak
to the bottom on old cookie sheets.
When we can no longer feel our fingers and toes
or somebody “has to go” no longer
able to hold it, we trudge home cheeks red as flames,
noses running. We sit on the snow-wet kitchen floor
and struggle out of our boots and many layers.
Hot chocolate with marshmallows on top!
Mother is happy for our fun.
I like to remember this, because sometimes
Though she is long gone from this life,
I remember how glad she was
for our snow days, and whisper thanks.
Today, in my back yard, the stately fir wears white.
Bushes are etched in diamond ice.
I see two snowmen –
black stick arms outstretched.
I open my heart to this snow.
Outside, cold knifes the air.
Inside, I sleep,
Wake and go through ice and snow to work.
Work without speaking…
Come home and burrow under wool,
Silky cat a little heater
Tucked into one side.
I wake to feed…
Anything in my path –
Macaroni, tea, butter on a bagel
And shamble back to bed.
Outside, below zero –
Inside, rise and fall of my breath,
Cat-purr the song of sleep.
I am hibernating, awaiting some birth.
Winter is not through with me.
After reading winter poems, return to home page.