Today was the day to shovel
breath sharp to our marrow.
We know we will be all right
really we will
but I remember the story our mother told.
The farmer was away when the blizzard struck,
the first that winter of many blizzards
that buried his farm in snow, then ice.
He’d gone over the mountain
to fetch the doctor
and he could not get home,
not for months.
The larder was stocked,
the cows had hay to winter over,
the chickens grain.
The biggest girl knew what to do.
The mother died. Of course she did.
It was nobody’s fault.
The children kept her in the shed
and when the way was open
the farmer found his children
even the newest babe
alive and his wife in the soft spring ground.
Alice Campbell Romano, February 1014