Every year there is another crisis in the family, and the prairie seems to envelope all in a great horizon of either hope or despair, and sometimes both at once. Here there have been some warm happenings, and a possible early spring with a crisis of the family thrown in. I could not write for a week and even now I am slow about it.
But we have also had the warmest weather, least snow, and mildest winter here in the north country. Except that yesterday we felt snow, and tonight the greatest storm in over ten years threatens to immobilize us. Or, perhaps it is all hyperbole form the weather forecasters, seeking their own particular brand of adrenaline.
Here are some thoughts on that. Any suggestions as to how this first draft could be made better are deeply appreciated.
Global warming strikes our great white north this year
confusing the living, plants, pets, and shut-ins alike,
now cold, now sun, now rain, now ice, now mud.
Tonight we watch the way of snow upon the earth
we smelled it in the air yesterday, stealing sky colors.
Now, it comes swirling with wind, like wedding skirts.
The brown dead grasses have withered more in mild air
no heat, not frozen, sunlight low on the southern porch
there is no green, no growth, no chances yet, for spring.
Tiny high-tailed sparrows flit from food to food
with the redbirds, the gray tits, and foundling squirrels,
dashing to warmth in holes, nests, and warrens dear.
Spring will not rise for moons this far from tropic seas
winter, like jealous sisters, grabs her chance flinging
desperate storms, deep snows and frigid kisses.
The rat without a shadow sleeps dreams of ignorance
and we prepare for snowy onslaught, men even speak
of ideal storms upon the prairie: laugh, we live here.
Childhood days of thirty and forty and fifty below
3 meters of snow and more to sled or pull the dogs
Now a mild winter, warm, lacking ice and we are soft.
A foot, a yard, a meter more of white stuff, not falling
flung horizontally in winds that could shave your face
blizzards in the yard, rabbits cower, we by the fire, sip.
Will the power die? Can the early plants survive?
Who knows, who cares, we live in this and every year
greens spring forth, and hockey games are played.