Counting my chickens before they hatch

In February I participated in Laura Shovan’s poetry challenge. I always enjoy this annual event–interesting daily prompts, excellent motivation to write each day, and a community that grows all month. One of the prompts I most enjoyed was from Lisa Vihos: “Write a eulogy for a person, (someone you know, someone from history, or a fictional character), a pet, an object, an idea (democracy perhaps), or even yourself. What’s the story? What needs to be praised? How did she/he/it meet its end? What would you say to she/he/it if you could? Let’s hear your words!”

While I enjoy the Michigan snow in December and January, by February I am ready for spring. And this year, it seemed like spring was about to start by mid-February. That (false) premise inspired my eulogy:


Winter was born prematurely on a frigid day in November.
She blizzarded into existence,
dumping ice and snow,
cracking tree limbs,
leaving towns and cities desolate and dark.

But Winter had a loose grip.
She drifted on a warm breeze and softened,
losing her mounds of snow,
her ice-capped lakes,
her frosty edge.

Winter grew bitter when she heard the celebrations
of those who thought she had perished.
She plowed into the news
with another round
of gray skies and brutal storms.

No one mourned Winter’s passing
when she finally expired.
Her offspring, Slush and Mist,
were last seen springing for a ticket
to ride a cloud and begin a new adventure.
–Buffy Silverman

Alas, winter is still sputtering. As I type this, we’re expecting another six inches of snow tonight. But the March sun is strong, and I don’t expect it to last. Eleven more days til the vernal equinox!

The snow from earlier this week lasted only a day.

And if you are huddled inside waiting for warmer weather, you might as well enjoy some poetry. Heidi has this week’s roundup over at my juicy little universe. Beware, she is celebrating the Odes of March!

21 thoughts on “Counting my chickens before they hatch

  1. Holy wow, Buffy, you are the master personifier! I, too, love that you included winter’s offspring, Slush and Mist, but don’t forget about her oft shunned stepchild, Snirt. 😉
    Bookmarking this poem for future studies. 🙂

  2. When I saw your post name, I thought you were talking about actual chickens! Had to switch gears there, haha.
    I love your eulogy & saved it. “Cracking tree limbs” is such a strong description, and her offspring are *chef’s kiss*.

  3. Buffy, I love that! The lines “Winter grew bitter when she heard the celebrations/of people who thought she had perished” made me laugh because I could just picture her, winter, getting really mad and hailing forth.

  4. Winter grew bitter when she heard the celebrations
    of people who thought she had perished.

    We’ve had winter/spring/winter here in MN, and I’m not eager for spring, despite my poetryaction today. Poor winter, to feel so unloved…

  5. The strong element of personification runs through your winter eulogy, Buffy. ‘Winter grew bitter when she heard the celebrations of people who thought she had perished.’
    While we don’t experience the same extremes of winter, here in Australia, winter still has a tendency to overstay and ‘sputter’ along. Our impatience is palpable. A powerful poem, indeed.

  6. Buffy, your poem is so inviting with its humor and seasonal changes. I absolutely love it and did not expect the ending with Slush and Mist as Winter’s children. You must have had fun writing this poem. I am glad that you shared it on PF because I missed it during the February Poem Project.

  7. What a fun poem, on paper that is! And I hope “Her offspring, slush and mist,” will tire and retire soon along with winter, and perhaps she’ll keep her ice away from us till next year. I love seeing those 40s and 50s popping up every so often at this time of year. This would make a fun picture book Buffy-hint, hint, thanks!

  8. I love your ending, with Spring getting a ticket. But there is cleverness throughout. Winter had a loose grip. Winter grew bitter and then no one mourns her passing.

  9. My favorite moment is when Winter’s children “spring” [punny!!] for a ticket to escape … to warmer climes?

  10. Buffy, I love the prompt you shared, and your eulogy for winter. Well done. I like the description that “winter is still sputtering” in your conclusion. When I lived in the Midwest, I always loved March and April, knowing spring would win ultimately.

    Funny: “Winter grew bitter when she heard the celebrations” Love the double meaning of bitter here.

  11. I loved Laura’s birthday month this year, too, Buffy, & your poem speaks “March” in all its fickleness. We have much warmth coming this week but I know that this can happen: “Winter grew bitter”. And we can have more snow, even into April. I like the story you’ve made in this poem!

  12. Winter certainly is fickle this year. That last stanza made me laugh. I hope slush and mist find a good place to land.

  13. This poem was one of my favorites from February, Buffy–“springing for a ticket/to ride a cloud”! You are much more optimistic than I could ever be, with more snow coming on March 10. What will you do with such a poem, I wonder, besides gift it to us?

    1. Ha–I thought it was bold of me to look through my February folder and actually post something! But if you have an idea of something more, let me know. Thanks for hosting, Heidi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.