This is the winter of our discontent

MOUNTAIN ECHOES


Published:

Is it from Hades, or from Heaven sent?
This is the winter of our discontent.

A winter to challenge Alaskans bold,
Relentless snows and bitter cold;

Storms from the Gulf unleashing wind
From north and south and back again.

Our streets are narrowing, banked with snow;
There is no place for it to go.

Roof tops strain under heavy loads,
Avalanches are closing highways, roads.

It just keeps coming, storm after storm;
We’re preoccupied with keeping warm.

Cordova, tucked in Prince William Sound
Has so much snow around

That it called in the National Guard
To clear the snow, yard by yard;

Meanwhile, in the Bering Sea
A Russian ship makes history

Clearing ice on a course to Nome
To allow a tanker to bring fuel home

To residents whose supply grows lean
of heating oil and gasoline.

We’re a hardy bunch, Alaskan tough,
But we’ve reached a point, “enough’s enough!”

Our snow blowers kick snow high,
But it won’t clear piles that reach the sky.

Snow crowds in, we’re losing room,
Is this the start of ice-age doom?

“Not at all,” old timers chime,
“Ain’t as bad as ’49;

’54 was a bad one too,
“When the wind came up, it blew and blew.”

Tired, frustrated, we spout invective,
But we need to keep things in perspective;

There were bad years before, bad ones to come;
We’re northerners and shouldn’t be glum.

Our daylight’s building by leaps and bounds,
And soon we’ll hear the melodious sounds

Of birds returning to our countryside,
And children’s laughter as they play outside.

The final victor in this winter dance
Is the sun, snow has no chance

Against its warmth, higher in the sky,
Melting goes quickly with spring nearby.

While GOP candidates are vote-groveling,
Here in Alaska we’ll just keep shoveling,

Imagining that along with winter’s mess,
We’re also scooping up politician BS.

Frank E. Baker is a freelance writer who lives in Eagle River.

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