Saturday, February 02, 2013

Winter Rations

I could hold these meager Tennessee snow rations,

That try to pass as Winter,

In contempt of the entire season,

And I would have every right to do,

So little as they are,

Not even topping blades of grass,

Gone in 24 hours like fog,

Colonies of dwarf snowmen,


Yes, I could hold it all in contempt,

And it may be my obligation to do so,

Being a Minnesotan,

Having shoveled feet of snow,

Having chipped inches of ice,

Having only heard of snow days,

            But rarely gotten one,

Having the annual span of months,

With frozen jeans,

With frozen boogers,

With frozen socks,

With frozen face. 

It may be my obligation,

As we both say, “Winter,”

As shared word, with unshared meaning.


I could hold these meager snow rations,

Rounded up to an inch,

Ephemeral like mist,

Cowering from the sun,

In such a hurry to melt away,

In contempt.


I could,

I should,

I will not.


For snow, even in meager rations,

Is good medicine –

How it tops the wood pile in the back yard,

How it wisps off rooftops in the wind,

            and glistens in the sun,

How it tells by driveways’ tracks,

            who has left their home and who hasn't,

How it forgives the brown and black deadness of winter,

How it stretches the light of the sun to make the world brighter.

How it whispers

            to my soul

                        “you are remembered”


So I lay my contempt to rest,

Under a thin blanket of snow,

And smile,

As the white disappears in the sun,

And my contempt with it,

As everyone has “endured the winter”

I will revel in my little morsel,

My meager rations,

Savor its taste,

Close my eyes into a blizzard of memories,

And smile.