Dear Mr. Frost, or may I call you Jack . . . by Vince Gotera

Dear Mr. Frost, or may I call you Jack . . .
Vince Gotera

—after a particularly mild winter

Where’ve you been hiding these past few months?
I only had to fire up the snow blower once. It coughed
miserably, neglected and forlorn, before turning over
and throwing some slush onto the brown lawn.

Where was your wind, keen as new razor blades?
Where were your white-out blizzards? Black ice?
Your snow banks shouldering up to the eaves?
Your crystal clear sleeves on twigs and branches?

Were you maybe tending glaciers, making sure
they didn’t calve icebergs into the shipping lanes.
Or traffic-cop shepherding migratory birds, addled
by strangely warm winds, the slipping magnetic field.

That weird cold snap in the Azores in February,
temps dropping down into the 60s, was that you?
Catching rays on a sandy beach, trading white sand
for white snow, your magenta Aloha shirt freezing

to your frigid back and sternum. Listen up, Jack.
Come your 4 billionth birthday, the 23rd of December,
you better be back on the job. Ringing the moon with ice.
Scissoring each and every snowflake into glittery lace.


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