The winter storm warning is in full effect,
high winds and 12 to 16 inches
of accumulation expected in the next 24 hours.
The weatherman’s voice curls around the room
like a spell, comfort to all present.
Mom on the couch hooks ochre yarn,
halfway to sweater arm, Dad and one daughter
lean over the counter with the Times,
sharing the occasional snippet,
while a second daughter sits at the table
with a cup of chamomile tea.
We advise you to cancel or at least postpone
any imminent travel plans.
There are frequent checks, long looks
out the front window as Mom, Dad, daughters,
fleece wrapped and intimate
with private affliction, behold such pristine beauty,
vaguely pleased by agreement between
what’s seen and what’s heard (their lives short this),
that voice mild as cows at pasture.
We’ve got you covered.
Such pleasure in being dry and warm
in this minute; faintly aware
the slim barrier holding tempest at bay.
The daughter at the table finds herself pulled
thousands of bedtimes back: rapt, charmed
by a prophet Mom, forecaster of everything,
who reads aloud books about a family of talking bears,
determined little engine, girl called Madeline.
This daughter can still hear herself repeating
on Mom’s leaving the words of the bunny
who bids goodnight to kittens and mittens
and clocks and socks, hears now hint
of prayer before inevitable surrender,
chill of the unknown: shapes transformed,
moon rising in the window.