Sunday, October 30, 2011


Editor's note: "On winter evenings many years ago, basking in the warmth of the old base-burner in the "sitting room," two little boys were not very enthusiastic about retiring to their unheated bedroom," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem. January isn't here yet, but since I'm seeing reports of heavy snowfall in other parts of the country, I figured this is a good time to remind ourselves of what it was like in the "good old days."

In our old farm house, 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 younger 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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