3:30 to 4:30 pm
A typical Chicago storm
Started with a wintry mix
freezing rain and seasalt snowflakes
stinging my face as I lifted it
to the sky
Though still bright from the sun
Straining to hold the daylight
from behind the storm
Had gone from grey to white
And already the sound of tires
Was muffled
As cars sped by
trying to beat the stormy night

7 a.m.
I woke inside an ocean of white
Sky, ground, even the side
Of the trees and the house
Under the drifting tide
that filled the world up
Drifts like kudzu clinging
To windows, walls
Submerging the garden
Like an overflowing bowl

When the air filled again
With new crystals
Drifting heavily down
In the windless morning
I realized I’d never get out
Against even another inch
Of snow, falling steadily on
I already had to push hard to open
the complaining screen door
It cut a snowy arc
Ten inches deep
And I shoveled out
A shovel-width path
Under falling flakes

2:30 p.m.
It was supposed to let up slowly
I thought they said
But it’s still coming down like mad
The garden gnome buried over his head
I can barely see the Little Free Library
Out in the neighbor’s yard
And stuck in the maw of the ongoing blizzard
The alley is filled with cars
And the snow has been falling and falling and falling
For hours and hours and hours

4:30 p.m.
It’s coming down in drifts in shoals
As heavy as ever it’s been all day
Laying a blanket upon the blanket
Upon the blanket it already laid
Upon the smothered ground

I cannot see the snow falling now
Against the streetlight
Illuminating the glittering ground
In the post storm night
But I can feel it
Stinging my face
As I wait on the stoop
Staring into the dark
The weather app says the storm’s not done
But this I think
Is plenty of snow
For everyone

Every Snowfall 2020-21, #15, 10+”

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