Putting Down Roots

snow day (for you, anyways. not for me)
January 12, 2011, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today, I worked out at Turkey Hill Farm, where we wrapped scarves around our necks and turned our fingers white pressing tiny onion sprouts into the not-quite-frozen ground. We complained, as folks all around Tallahassee have been doing, that it’s cold. Real cold.

What’s cold to us? Oh, 40s during the day, 20s at night. Teens, if we’re real unlucky. (Don’t get me wrong though: even the 50s feel cold to my already-adapted blood).

And I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been whining too, every now and again, even though I was born during a blizzard and have lived most of my life in places where ever winter car had sandbags in the back and at least one ice scraper knocking around on the floor in front of the passenger’s seat.

I heard today that Florida is the only state in the Union, Hawaii included, that doesn’t have snow on the ground right now. The only one. And I know that most of you who are reading this are snowed in right now, with snow piling up on the windowsills and puddles around your boots by the door. So, you’re getting a blizzard poem. This one was written just about a year ago, when we got a blizzard on the very last day of fall term (a Friday) and everyone who wasn’t smart enough to leave early was stuck until Sunday. I climbed a mountain in the morning, threw good-natured snowballs at the all the Deans’ office windows, and spent most of the weekend hunkered down in Ecodorm with most of my favorite people, finishing up what was left in the fridge. We played board games and told stories, and I managed to snag the best chair in the room to curl up and write some poetry. Here’s one (and if you think the idea of me drinking rum seems awfully uncharacteristic, you’re right. The rum I mention is half-empty because we made some really fabulous eggnog for Thanksgiving; the balance was finished by friends of mine who appreciated it way more than I ever could):

Always Let You In

It’s snowing and so
you can’t get home without
lifting your feet high.
Your boots–the steel-toed

barely-waterproof ones
you work in–are marked
halfway up with a line
from dissolved road salt

left behind. You are not
one of the dozen people
with a car skidded into
a snow bank on Rt. 70. You

are not someone deep
in complicated love.
You wear thick wool
hand-me-down sweaters

& pin your hair up
with ballpoint pens.
You walk home
in the almost dark

of an after-blizzard evening.
You are half lonely, &
the rum in the cupboard
is half gone. You knock

your boots against
the doorframe, tap
on the window so that
someone–you left

you key inside–will let
you in. Behind the glass
the world is bright
& mouths move without

making noise. Don’t let
anyone tell you the sound
of snow on snow is silent,
because they are wrong.

You can hear this. Inside,
there is soup on stove,
or popcorn, or curry.
The doors are heavy

but the locks
never stick.
will always let you in.


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

I like the suspense you create in the poem as you’re standing outside the door with this line: “Don’t let
anyone tell you the sound
of snow on snow is silent,
because they are wrong.”

Out of curiosity, why did you write the poem in the second person?

Comment by Alex L.

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