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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Minneapolis, Ice and Snow



When I was a child winter came strong, and took away half of the year
Snow fell from November to March, falling from the gray sky. It covered everything
We walked, and tromped, and stumbled through the drifts
We took hold of the bumpers of school busses skitching on the icy streets
In the Snowbound restive city, stirring quietly on the frozen plain

Snowfall ushers in a hush, broken only by the industrial tones of winter’s music
The rhythm of a shovel, cold and harsh, making long strokes against concrete
Ice choppers pounding out the beat, sharp blades scrape ice from windshields
In short staccato bursts

A crystal coat covers everything in the morning after a freezing rain, awakening
The groaning, and whining of cold engines; the grinding, and grinding, and maybe
Turning over, those long winters are uncommon now, almost forgotten
The high pitched squeal of spinning wheels slipping in the snow, and ice beneath the rubber
Tread, no grip, no traction, just push, breathe, and heave

Everyone retreated from the cold, curling up in the hollows of their homes
For the long parched nights in the dry, dry heat, chaffing skin, cracking lips, chapped
And brittle as the shell of life, hard winters in the slumber of womb,
Recall the heat of summer, longing for the green walk along the alphabet streets
From Aldrich to Knox and the cool relief of water

Read at the January Meeting of Poet’s and Pints, on the Open Mic
2017.01.18

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