Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "158 Inches"

This poem came out of the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "huddle for warmth" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

"158 Inches"

In February, it snowed.

And it snowed.

And it SNOWED.

Dale and Kelly stocked their pantry
with nonperishable supplies,
and called around to make sure
that all their friends had done the same.

The power went off every other week,
so the two women list a fire in the hearth
and huddled together for warmth.

There were a lot of three-dog nights,
but they only had one dog,
so they made do.

Will organized teams of teenagers and
college students to shovel snow
where the snowplows couldn't reach.

When Juste got frostbitten,
Kelly hauled him indoors and
applied first aid, snuggling him under
cozy blankets until someone with
a monster truck could take him
to the emergency room.

As the weather began to warm,
Professor Killeenadeema leaned out
of her second-story window to shout advice
on how to construct a snow arch.

Dale thought about her experiences
walking with a cane, and added suggestions
for the tweens trying to use bamboo garden stakes
as improvised snow poles with their parents' waterskis,
while staying indoors wrapped in an afghan
and her very cuddly wife.

By March the accumulation was 158 inches.

When Dale and Kelly finally made it
out of the house to Café Bartlett Square,
driving carefully between high white cliffs
and watching their step on the ice, they found
dozens of neighbors cozied up together and
Rivka's knitting circle passing out the hats
and mittens and scarves they had made
while the snow was falling.

People passed back and forth with plates
of piping-hot pastries and cocoa and coffee.

Mendel had convened a discussion about
climate change and its impact on the Boston area,
with attention to what could be done locally
to mitigate the damage it caused.

Kelly praised the efforts of the snow-shoveling brigade
and advised expansion of such community efforts
50 to make sure people in the neighborhood had
clear walkways and food and fuel,
her graceful hands fluttering.

Rook Sullivan just shook his head.
"That's a lot of liberal commie nonsense,"
he said. "Climate change is just a hoax.
This blizzard proves it."

Dale punched him in the face.

* * *


After the blizzard dumped a lot of snow on Boston, neighbors helped each other out. (In our world, it's been 104 inches; where Dale and Kelly live, 158.) There are tips on how to prepare for a winter storm and how to help your neighbors in cold weather. Snowcrew helps people find each other for snow shoveling.

Learn how to build a snow arch.

Ski poles are used for balance and propulsion in cross-country skiing. Know how to use them properly. It also helps to know how to use a cane and how to walk on ice safely.

Rook Sullivan is a blue-collar conservative who lives in Jamaica Plain. Rook is short for "Rorick."

Some people think snow is a sign that climate change is a hoax. In fact, climate change makes weather more extreme in general, including worse blizzards.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, environment, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, romance, weblit, writing

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