Sunday, January 9, 2011


Editor's note: "On winter evenings long ago, two little boys were not very enthusiastic about retiring to their unheated bedroom upstairs," Dad recalled in the introduction to this poem. This time of year here in northeastern Ohio, I sure can feel his pain -- figuratively and literally!

In our old farmhouse, long ago,
When I was five or six, or so,
And January came along,
And Winter set in good and strong,
We hated so to go to bed,
In chilly quarters overhead.
My little brother Frosty, he
Was two years younger yet than me.

We hesitated on the stair,
For it was mighty cold up there;
Both were entertaining dread
Of climbing in our frigid bed;
But Mother countervailed our fear
By gently nudging from the rear.
We were still reluctant, though,
Those winter evenings, long ago.

Finally, in our straw-tick bed,
With rafters creaking overhead,
Covers tucked around us tight,
We snuggled for the winter night;
And when the angry north wind came
To rattle window sash and frame,
Little mounds of drifted snow
Appeared upon the sill below.

After snuffing out the light,
Mother vanished from our sight,
Quietly down the narrow stair,
Leaving us to shiver there.
Wrapped in flannel, at our feet,
Two flat irons provided heat;
No electric blanket, though,
Those winter nights of long ago!

--The Buckeye Poet (1991)

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