Streets so clean, lawns so green, grass,
flowers, trees, pollen and dust close my eyes
with allergies. I’ll take snow any day,
snow that constricts the world into mystery—
a scrim over buildings and cars, avenues that
become sled-runs for fools, the unprepared.
What fun to watch a pickup truck pirouette down
Maple Avenue in the snow. “Oh shit,” the driver says
through his open window, a cigarette frozen on his
lower lip, just before he takes out a row of designer trees
the Mayor had planted to replace the hundred-year-old
maples she removed because they “interfered” with
power lines. What joy to watch our son’s babysitter,
Marianne, frenzy our living room, call her Hungarian
relatives, warn them about the snow, rediscover
that she can’t speak Hungarian and
her relatives don’t speak English.
Winter descends on Pittsburghers as a shock.
Clearly, they expect only three seasons.
A forecast of snow closes schools, excites
food runs at Giant Eagle where crazed shoppers
decimate rows of frozen perogies, Hormel Chili,
and Polish kielbasa—all the staples needed to survive
an avalanche of the white stuff, or the inch or two
that actually settles on the ground.
Oh, the wait through months of sneeze
and sun to arrive at the freeze and fun—
the fourth season of flake and reason.
Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (2019), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology andtwice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in over eighty publications.