For five days straight,
the thick heavy wet white flakes
tumbled down recklessly,
never letting up even for a minute.
and school was closed,
and offices were closed,
and restaurants and stores,
and everything was closed,
except for that 24-hour pancake place,
but how could you even get there?
And the only way I figured they stayed open
was that the owner who worked in the front,
his kids who ran the kitchen,
and that waitress with the smoker’s cough
just never left the restaurant that whole time.
If I opened my front door,
I faced an eight-foot wall of solid snow,
packed in tight and frozen hard.
I had to chisel out a tunnel
just so my dog could take a shit,
but it was a wasted effort.
She spent her brief time outside
poking her nose
into the walls of the snow cavern
then she got too cold and started crying,
and held up her right front paw helplessly,
so I had to carry her back in,
and she crapped on the floor immediately.
And I knew this storm was coming,
everyone knew this storm was coming,
but I wasn’t sure that I had enough food
because it wasn’t supposed to go on this long
and the snow wasn’t supposed to get this high,
and what if the power goes out?
Then we’d be screwed.
So every day,
I worked for a few hours on my tunnel,
trying to dig out a little farther,
hoping to join someone else’s tunnel,
and my hands were cold and numb,
and my feet, despite my boots,
felt cold and wet.
I heard that Paul,
the idiot who lives down the street,
got out on his roof
and tried to jump down onto the top
of the huge snow bank.
wasn’t really hurt at all,
considering he’s usually drunk
and never wearing a shirt.