Saturday, March 9, 2013

365 Poems: Snow Comes to Fort Wayne

Day 68

In which we attempt to show how very very seriously we take our Midwestern weather.

[Ed. note: And this should very much be considered a 'work in progress.']

Snow Comes to Fort Wayne

First the warning: Apocalypse is upon us.
The winter storm approaches.
Prophets among us appear,
gesturing grandly, punch-drunk fortune-tellers,
with tales of snow totals and wind chills,
visions of end-times measured in inches.
The angels chime in, singing:
Stock your pantries, strip the shelves of their
loaves of manna, the milk of the fatted cow,
the fermented brew. Draw your children
close, watch the scrolling screen for what
the future holds for them.
Our hearts fill with dread:
What madness this, these dire trumpet
warnings of wind that will roar as
a lion, snow that will bury us beneath
a suffocating blanket of chill death?
We watch and wait: Too soon the
woe is upon us, falling from the sky
more swiftly even than leaves from
trees in autumn, drawing a blanket
thick and white over the city,
subdivisions and neighborhoods,
downtown, parking lots, headwaters,
farm fields, businesses:
In the long night without stars
we are lost to ourselves,
city sounds muted, traffic slowed,
surely we will be suffocated by
this affliction from above, where
are the heroes on pale horses
who can save us?

Neighbors, fear not:
We won’t be saved by
horses but the charging plow,
the swift blade that throws the blanket
aside and frees us from the
weight of the end that, apparently,
is not as near as we feared.
Children, come out:
the time has come to play, to rejoice
in the freedom
a snow day brings.
People, come out, repent
of your foolish panic, for the
work of the day still calls.
Prophets (chastised), come out:
pronounce that the storm has passed;
the beginning and end are
still to come, as he promised;
and the winter storm warning
… is officially cancelled.

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