Spring, Fever, Snow
Last night I had to outrun a Zamboni
which isn’t so very hard to do
but is treacherous nonetheless,
especially in a dream when you’re not sure
why you’re on the ice in the first place.
Yesterday morning I slept to pelting rain,
a rhythmic ting of icy drops that left no trace
so I wasn’t sure when I woke, feverish
but not, whether the sleet was real,
though the sound surely was.
And today schools are closed for a first
day of spring nor’easter, the silence
entrancing me through long morning
sleep, so I’m not sure when I wake
if it has even begun to snow, but it has
and large flakes like coconut shavings are
swirling down outside my window, already
blanketing the footings of sturdy daffodil shoots.
I rise woozy from fighting off the lingering
almost fever and outrunning the ice machine
in street shoes when skates would
have been better. After coffee and toast
and a small dose of slow grading,
I dress in ski pants, waterproof boots
and an enormous hat to protect my head
and neck from the frozen flakes
that disintegrate unwelcome into cool
damp patches on contact with skin.
In the white swirl, I push, scoop, lift,
toss snow into piles so people can pass
on the almost bared walk or climb
the slippery front steps, but no one does,
the silence complete save for the
scraping of my shovel and the rhythm
of my breath as I clear snow
and clear it again while it falls
in fresh determined layers in the bright
glow of this springtime afternoon.
by Ann E. Wallace
Editor’s Note: Sometimes winter lingers for so long that feverish dreams can punctuate the imagery of a poem.