For two hundred years snow went missing
from the English language. Travelers returned
from the circumpolar north tugged at collars
and spoke instead of the land of crowberry wine
while those from the south were simply ignored
as gibbering fools. Currier and Ives became famous
for their portraits of ash-strewn desolation
inspiring, years later, a young Cormac McCarthy.
Whenever it would happen it would happen
like this, denials and obfuscations as shallow
and deep as drifts. When Dylan asked
something is happening but you don’t know what it is do you?
he was daring all the phonies to name it already,
to quit gamboling around in shirtsleeves
as if the hemisphere hadn’t tilted, as if it didn’t
tilt reliably every single goddamn year. Of course
now that we’ve regained our senses, repeating
snowsnowsnow at the first sign of it, Dylan denies
that’s what he was singing about. I’m not a snow
singer and I never was. Let everyone else sing about snow.
Published in volume Summer/Fall 14