Poetry with four-letter words like ‘snow,’ ‘wind’

 A bit on Illinois Public Radio this morning reminded me April is National Poetry Month. I haven’t written much poetry in decades, but I have a manila file  of brilliance from my formative years that I somehow believed was worth lugging around from place to place. Your first clue as to its contents is its location in my file drawer: Between “drama” and “reports.”

I dipped into the narrow-margined-three-hole-punched loose leaf papers to find it filled with poetry about homework, breakups and suicide (I never was, for the record, suicidal but you’d be surprised to hear that after finding all the F-word-filled pieces among my writings).

I also found a story that made me laugh ’til I cried; it began like this: 


[If that’s not an epic literary beginning, I don’t know what is.]

“My name is Negative Images. Really — Negative Margaret Images. People call me Neggy for short. My father calls my Maggy. It was my mother’s idea to call me Negative. Her name is Mary so she wanted her only daughter to have an interesting name. She didn’t name me Positive Images because … well, I guess she’s crazy.”

Crazy. Indeed. But I digress. I was rooting around for poetry, not weird teenage stories. So I shall celebrate National Poetry Month with this piece that is not suicidal or weird but appropriate for a Minnesota native who mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time this season to share at the end of April:

I hate winter:
The air drains my lungs.
The temperature thickens my blood.
The snow blinds my eyes.
The wind bites my cheeks.
The ice greases my shoes.
The fog steps on my hair.
The puddles give me a bath.
It’s almost spring.

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