Nine Inches


My daughter told me Portland has no plows,
for snowfall seldom sticks. She said a mere
two inches and the infrastructure bows.

Quadruple that and pavements disappear,
a tram derails, the buses pop their chains,
and sunny icy days ensue that freeze
the snow that can’t be swept off. Nothing gains
good purchase; nothing moves with aim or ease.

And then we witnessed humans acting smart,
for everybody slowed and looked around.
Perceiving hazard summoned forth the part
of us that takes considered steps. We found
a whole community in movement slow
enough to gambol and enjoy the snow.

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