Poetry

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Buffalo

by Lionel E. Deimel

  

Snowplow

Buffalo
Snow
More snow
Snow on snow
Snow on snow on snow
On Buffalo

 

 

Buffalo, New York, has a reputation for receiving monumental quantities of lake-effect snow. In 2001, the city had received virtually no snow until just before Christmas, when a seemingly endless snowstorm began. Because some friends of mine had planned to drive to Buffalo to visit relatives on December 26, I paid more attention to the news reports from Buffalo than I normally do. I composed this poem in my head as I walked through a quite modest snowfall in Pittsburgh while listening to a radio story on the plight of the city on Lake Erie. I can’t say whether the version above is exactly as I first conceived the poem, but it is certainly close to it. I considered variations, but what you see here seems to work. Uncharacteristically, I used no punctuation in the poem, since punctuation seemed useless and distracting. Don’t read the poem like a single sentence, however, but pause after each line. The phrase “snow on snow,” of course, is borrowed from Christina Rossetti. (Written 12/28/2001.)

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