Tuesday, January 11, 2011

befitting a storm

Here's a little ditty I wrote a couple of years ago commemorating a rare snow for us Birminghamites. We had one of our"winter storms" over the weekend and I thought I'd exhume the poem and post it here for your amusement. Fellow southerners--nod; distant northerners--roll your eyes; elsewhere crows--laugh.

Middle Alabama Snow

We wake to snow

But still incredulous,

Our disbelief like sleep

In dream-deep eyes.

In outsized flakes

Like kindergartners cut

From origami folds,

The snow descends

And reunites

On roofs and shrubbery.

The window watches on

As we look through.

Our wonderment

Is tempered by distrust.

We know the heavy sigh

And shoulder-slump

That come as sure

As morning’s sun, as sure

As he will stand and stretch

His sleep-fresh rays.

Our mittens are

Mismatched and our long-johns

Don’t fit and itch, but time

Won’t stop for us.

It never does.

By afternoon, the thaw

Will break a febrile sweat

Across the knolls

Of matted grass.

With snow in blotches

Like hives-mottled flesh

On hoods of cars

And yellow lawns,

The purple pansy will

Erect its humble head,


So quickly we tie

Our tennis shoes and zip

Our raincoats up. We grab

The boogie-boards

And laundry bins

To sled the nearest slope

And crash and climb and crash

Again. Again.

Then not so smoothly,

Now in mostly


But again.


  1. Ah. I love this poem.

    Our wonderment

    Is tempered by distrust.

    We know the heavy sigh

    And shoulder-slump

    fantastic stanza, that. Ah, but all of it!

  2. You made me see it. But again.

  3. Where but in the South can one recall decades passed by titles like "The Snow of '93" or "The Snow of '82 are was it "83", or "Winter Storm of '11"? Only we Southerners treat snow with the awe due it. Having stopped everything else we can set around warm fire places or stand at those picture windows so close to the fire and the snow and see it with memory eyes while looking with real time eyes the wonder of snow that this station below the Mason Dixon passes far too quickly ... oh well ... for the moment back to the mud ... (I meant snow). Thanks for your poem it says it all and says it well!