SOUNDS of a MAINE WINTER

by T. Blen Parker

SNOWBALLS ON A STICK
WINTER BOTANICALS

Meteorologists make their repeated vociferous predictions,
Sounding the impending doom.
A storm approaches! Be prepared! Don’t get caught!
Residents scribble market lists of storm-survival items.
Lines at supermarket doors grow longer as
Customers scramble to clear necessities from shelves,
Forming a shopping cart race, a cacophonous event.
Cars line up at traffic lights, horns honking, anxiously
Attempting to hurry home before the storm “hits” their town.

Local chatter commences, just before intense cold brings on
Eerie quietude when the first flakes begin to accumulate.
Songbirds silently peck seeds below the birdfeeders,
Frantically gorging themselves to last for days.
Only the river ice groans and snaps, echoing
Throughout the forest where the creatures
Step lightly to find a warm burrow. The wind picks up, gusting
Over 50 MPH creating snowy tornadoes around houses,
Garages, barns, or in the middle of empty snow-covered fields.

Windows rattle, storm doors bang open,
Frigid flakes blow sideways, tap, tap, tapping on windowpanes.
Wooden beams snap and crack suddenly and loudly
Creaking under below zero temperatures.
Heating, clinking silver spoon to stir,
I clutch with both hands a mug of steaming hot chocolate.
Intermittently turning crisp pages until writing calls me
To scratch ideas out with a fountain pen on paper.
The world drops away as I slip on a knitted
Wool beanie cap, settling into warm thoughts, sitting in
My favorite chair against a heated rice bag.
Ahhhhh, the sounds of satisfaction,
Or have I woken to the sounds of my own snoring?

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