Ice Storm 98


Ice Storm 98

Trees in crystal armour lay broken
Their giant arms crippled, laying beneath them
Others bend and groan in the wind, twisting.
Trying to shake free from their icy prison.
Wires sag, till almost touching the ground, they snap
Sending wild blue flashes arching across the sky
In an eerie display of mono coloured fireworks.
Single blades of grass stand erect
Encased in a cast of frozen water.
All is quiet...no sound of running appliances.
No television, even the phone doesn't ring.
The air is crisp and cool
You can see your breath...in the kitchen!
From somewhere comes the faint sound of voices and music.
A battery has been found for an old portable radio
We wait for the news to tell us what is happening
In the world beyond our door.
From the basement comes the smell of smoke
A fire has been started in the wood stove.
Soon there will be heat and water for coffee.
You think of your neighbour next door;
wheelchair bound, cold and alone.
A rescue party is sent to bring her here
into our circle of warmth.
Around us the neighbourhood begins to waken,
And gathers in disbelief.
Disjointed parts united in common bond against this natural foe.
A short excursion on foot
Reveals so much more than seen
From bedroom window or backyard deck.
Gone are the poplars at the end of the road.
Gone too is the willow from the top of the hill.
The lilac is bending , pulling away from the house.
You hope that it can bear up under the weight
After all it is your favourite
The sun shines down and a thousand points of light
Radiate from every surface
The brilliance hurts your eyes
In awe we marvel at the surreal beauty of it all
And question how something so splendidly magnificent
Could have the power to maim, paralyze and devastate
Like this storm has done.
We start to gather the broken limbs
Placing them in mountainous piles
at the side of the road.
From slippery sidewalks and entombed cars;
We beat, with vengeance, the heavy blanket of ice,
To claim back some of what we call our own.
The healing has just begun.
It will take days, weeks, months...
A century.


ęD.W.Rickard 2000