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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