“Snow Nooooo!”

The snow, ice, and extreme cold that create rare “snow days” here in Texas has stretched into a “snow week.”  We hold in prayer those who have lost electricity, water, or cell phone service due to this storm.  We are grateful to our first responders, medical personnel, and essential workers caring for us in this winter storm….during a pandemic.

The Pulitzer Prize- winning poet Lisel Mueller fled the Nazi regime in Germany and at age 15 came with her family to America.  Her poem “Not Only The Eskimos” evokes vivid descriptions of snow.

We have only one noun

but as many different kinds:

 

the grainy snow of the Puritans

and snow of soft, fat flakes,

 

guerrilla snow, which comes in the night

and changes the world by morning,

 

rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap

on the highest mountains,

 

snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger,

riding hard from out of the West,

 

surreal snow in the Dakotas,

when you can’t find your house, your street,

though you are not in a dream

or a science-fiction movie,

 

snow that tastes good to the sun

when it licks black tree limbs,

leaving us only one white stripe,

a replica of a skunk,

 

unbelievable snows:

the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April,

the false snow before Indian summer,

the Big Snow on Mozart’s birthday,

when Chicago became the Elysian Fields

and strangers spoke to each other,

 

paper snow, cut and taped,

to the inside of grade-school windows,

 

in an old tale, the snow

that covers a nest of strawberries,

small hearts, ripe and sweet,

the special snow that goes with Christmas,

whether it falls or not,

 

the Russian snow we remember

along with the warmth and smell of furs,

though we have never traveled

to Russia or worn furs,

 

Villon’s snows of yesteryear,

lost with ladies gone out like matches,

the snow in Joyce’s “The Dead,”

the silent, secret snow

in a story by Conrad Aiken,

which is the snow of first love,

 

the snowfall between the child

and the spacewoman on TV,

 

snow as idea of whiteness,

as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush,

 

the snow that puts stars in your hair,

and your hair, which has turned to snow,

 

the snow Elinor Wylie walked in

in velvet shoes,

 

the snow before her footprints

and the snow after,

 

the snow in the back of our heads,

whiter than white, which has to do

with childhood again each year.

 

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