When there should be snow there is rain, rain, rain,
then ice, then rain. The radio host asks
call-in listeners if they think this a sign
of climate change. Old timers hit speed dial,
side-step the point, eager to talk storms,
lives marked by weather, recall jumping out
of windows when the doors were blocked with snow,
the hospitals filled up with broken backs—
What does it mean? The questions gather. Oh,
I have another story, a good one.
This storm flooded the town then froze it in
its shell; each home a snow globe of its own.
That one felled trees older than most houses;
rain pummeled us for days until the roads
gave way, just buckled, the ground beneath us
heaved and upended, water everywhere
devouring the road as if it were a sandcastle;
took bridges too, whole towns unglued, adrift,
now islands of their own. Weather serves up
memory better than any book.
Who likes to think about means and ends,
how things change so slowly until they snap?
We fear our maps outdated, pencil sketches
on onion skin. Our stories, though,
tell us who we are.
From Radio Weather (Signal Edition, 2014) by Shoshanna Wingate