The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it. – The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
To my Northern friends: I regret
I can no longer speak with authority
about winter. I’ve forgotten the feeling
of ears ringing with the silence
of fresh snowfall, air so cold it stabs
the lungs. Gone are those Norse names,
the rough wool, heavy boots,
bodies bent against wind so fierce
there must be a name for it in Lakota.
I can’t recall how despair closes in,
a cloud blanket for days, dense, ominous.
Remind me how, in a whiteout,
a person can get lost between car
and house. Tell me about
children in mufflers waiting
for the school bus in handmade huts,
the shush of skis down slushy streets.
Didn’t we find Easter eggs nested
on the icy crust? I do remember
that just when you vow to never
shovel another drive,
the bright flags of daffodils flare.
— Debra Kaufman
Debra Kaufman’s most recent book is God Shattered