-10F / -23.3 C

Small pine
The snow crunches
Beneath my boots
It squeaks and squeals
Grumbling with each step
The dry thin air
Turns white with wind
In seconds my face goes cold
My face hurts
My face is numb
The snow settles
The shrieking
Becomes a low whistle
I can again hear the snow
Complaining against my weight
I stop
Blocked by the barn
It is still
But I can hear the train-rush
Roaring through the trees
Across the valley
I start again for the house
The roar approaches
I shut the door
As snow swirls then settles
On the warm floor
Windows rattling
House shaking
I am home

Those who have never been in the extreme cold may have never heard the strange noises snow makes. As it gets colder it starts to crunch.  Colder yet and the crunch turns to squeaks which eventually become squeals, as if the snow where a living thing complaining as you walk on it. With sustained winds on Sunday night up to 35 mph/50 kph and gusts over 65 mph/100 kph, the cold cut through everything. In the shadow of might Mt. Washington up in the White Mountains this type of weather isn’t too unusual. Down in my village? It happens, but the few times it does gets burned into memory. Or perhaps I should say it’s frozen in memory.

Oh, one small detail – I think it’s weird that the blizzard started after the snow stopped – it was windy while snowing, but the total white-out conditions happened as it got colder and windier.  We usually think of blizzard and falling snow, but “blizzard” describes the conditions and is usually about the blowing snow and visibility.

Edit – Since I mention Mt. Washington and this poem was about Sunday night, this is an interesting read.

17 thoughts on “-10F / -23.3 C

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Usually I think it’s cold when it crunches. When it squeaks I know it’s very cold. The squealing? I’ve only been out when it’s cold enough to do that a few times. I mean, it’s not ear splitting loud, though usually everything else is so quiet it might seem that way.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Amy! They’re saying there may not be a break in the cold until March. I know that’s less than two weeks away, but it’s still too far in the future for me!


  1. charlypriest

    Great poem, you should write some bad ones from time to time….
    Anyways, what I´m thinking really is that you have some big “cojones” to go out of the house with 23-C. I would just sneak into my bed and wrapped myself upon layers and layers of sheets.

    Liked by 1 person


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