We are lying in winter’s grave on this end of the Mississip’
Haven’t seen my grass in months
My long johns are in shreds
We’ve gone through sixteen bottles of dry red wine
Seventy-two cans of dark beer (stouts and porters: I like to drink with the seasons)
Five butternut squash
Two shovels (Seventy-four point nine inches of snow, thank you very much)
A jug of sidewalk salt
One car battery ($109.36), alternator belts ($244.43), and thanks to the potholes
a ball joint ($379.52).
More like cabin cancer
I don’t own a snow-blower
Wish I could say it was a matter of principle
In reality my hand-me-down
’78 Sunbeam Electric Snowthrower
bit the powder a year ago and was never replaced.
But I’ll never go back
I’ve found my antidote to winter
Anyone can fill a gas tank, pull a chord and walk behind a machine-
Not outside more than twenty minutes
Go back inside and watch yourself some more reality TV.
I like to shovel in the quiet of the late evening, while the snow is still falling
Breathe the cold for over an hour, maybe two
The Alberta Clipper passes and the clear polar air follows
Stars will scream at your eyes and
the moon will be all the light you need, blue as Lake Superior
Numb frozen chin, frosted whiskers and sweaty armpits: now this is the Midwest
and this is what its like to feel alive.
I stop to catch my breath and in the silence
Find all the stillness I need to make it through to
Green grass, songbirds, and ice cold malty lagers (I like to drink with the seasons).
Either way, wouldn’t trade anything for the winters out here,
Just gotta know what you’re looking for.