The blizzard withdraws into the Atlantic
by Marge Piercy
After the storm, the sky is an innocent
pale blue, the sun is strong, the clouds
gauzy, without the faintest threat
or promise just slowly sailing over.
The birds not blown away swarm
the feeders, jostling each other,
nuthatches, chickadees, goldfinches,
jays, tufted titmice, cardinals.
Sparrows on the ground peck
for spilled seeds. A grey squirrel
ventures out. Many tracks criss
cross the settling snow, some large.
The predators too are hungry.
Homes without power, heat, water
hunch under heavy wet white loads.
My friend huddles under three blankets
and two quilts with her cats. Her sand
road has vanished. No plow has come.
Without power, without cable, without
internet, email — how strange it feels.
We are thrust into the past, candles,
fireplace, wood stove, layers
upon layers of clothing, unwashed
and beginning to stink, food spoiled.
Open a can with the manual opener.
Eat crackers. Stick a pot on the wood
stove and hope for pasta. Wait, wait
wondering if anyone remembers you.
If a plow will ever open the road out;
if a friend who has power will take you
in, feed you, lend you her shower; if
anyone’s alive out there in the endless white.
Copyright © 2013 by Marge Piercy.