By Sarah E. Murphy
School night snowstorms
were the highlight of those long, dark winters.
Dad was a misguided meteorologist
with only the best intentions.
When he professed
“there’ll be no school tomorrow!”
with cheerful certainty
we could plan
on the screech and halt
of the bus flying down Grand Ave
so we learned early on to be hopeful
when he was doubtful.
I’d peer outside my window
my nose freezing against the icy glass
staring at the sky for signs
listening for a message in the wind.
Ted would call his friend John,
the superintendent’s son
in an effort to obtain
In the early hours
after restless sleep
I’d resume my post
trying not to wake Courtney
to see a torrent of white
falling under the streetlight
by the O’Connors’ house
and into the inky black ocean
of the Heights.
We didn’t really know
there was magic
in those moments
when all was silent but for the hiss
of snowflakes making contact.
Later that morning
after the donning of many layers
we sought satisfaction
in leaving the first footprints
at the ballpark
drifts crunching under our feet
as we staggered to meet the McEvoy girls
in their parkas and moon boots.
At day’s end
mittens and snow pants
would swim in puddles by the coal stove
while we savored our Swiss Miss
celebrating simple joys.
Sarah E. Murphy/Copyright 2010