I have gotten out of the habit of awaking and reaching
for a poem. Lately, I have chosen to simply go back
to sleep. Tonight, or rather this very early morning,
I got up and reached for a poem:
LESTER TELLS OF WANDA & THE BIG SNOW
“Some years back I worked a strip mine
Out near Tylesburg. One day it starts
To snow and by two we got three feet.
I says to the foreman, “I’m going home.”
He says, “Ain’t you stayin’ til five?”
I says, “I got to see to my cows,”
Not telling how Wanda was there at the house.
By the time I make it home at four
Another foot is down and it don’t quit
Until it lays another. Wanda and me
For three whole days seen no one else.
We tunneled the drifts and slid
Right over the barbed wire, laughing
At how our heartbeats melted the snow.
After a time the food was gone and I thought
I’d butcher a cow, but then it cleared
And the moon come up as sweet as an apple.
Next morning the ploughs got through. It made us sad.
It don’t snow like that no more. Too bad.”
……PAUL ZIMMER,(1934, Canton,OH) ran university presses
at Pittsburgh, Georgia,and Iowa, then retired to his farm
near Soldiers Grove, WI. Author of many collections, he is
known to have said, “Some people view life as food served
by a psychopath. They do not trust it.” But Zimmer expects
always to be happy. Puzzled by melancholy, he pours a
reward and loves the world relentlessly.
Although I am alone here, I laugh out loud at that remark
noted in Garrison Keillor’s book, Good Poems.(2002)