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American Life in Poetry

Sun., Jan. 6, 2013

Another winter is upon us, and Barton Sutter, a poet who lives in Duluth, Minn., knows all about cold and snow. Here’s a preview to get us thinking about what’s in store for us.

A Little Shiver

After the news, the forecaster crowed

With excitement about his bad tidings:

Eighteen inches of snow! Take cover!

A little shiver ran through the community.

Children abandoned their homework.

Who cared about the hypotenuse now?

The snowplow driver laid out his long johns.

The old couple, who’d barked at each other

At supper, smiled shyly, turned off the TV,

And climbed the stairs to their queen-size bed

Heaped high with blankets and quilts.

And the aging husky they failed to hear

Scratch the back door, turned around twice

In the yard, settled herself in the snow,

And covered her nose with her tail.

Poem copyright 2012 by Barton Sutter from “The Reindeer Camps” (BOA Editions, Ltd,, 2012), and reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. American Life in Poetry is supported by The Poetry Foundation and the English department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


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