BUTT Freezer for the World,
Slush Maker, Stacker of Snow,
Player with Wind chills and the Nation’s Ice Box;
Stormy, frigid, squalling,
City of the Big Shovels:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
have seen your cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive
helpless against the winds of Lake Michigan.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
is true I have seen backs bent under the weight of a shovel
laden with wet snow.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
faces of women and children I have seen frost-bitten noses
and chapped lips.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
and say to them:
Come and show me another city with 700 billion pounds
of accumulation in twenty-four hours.
Flinging snow into the Chicago River and piling it high
as skyscrapers, here is an awesome Yeti set vivid against the
tepid soft cities;
Fierce as a snowthunder, at once clamorous and silent, cunning
as a flurry pitted against the month of May,
Freezing, thawing, refreezing,
Under the snow, frost all over his mouth, laughing with
Under the terrible burden of multiple layers laughing as
a midwestern Winter laughs,
Laughing even as a naïve Southerner who has
never seen our Snowpocalypse, our Snowmageddon,
Bragging and laughing that under his wool sweater is the pulse,
and under his thermal undershirt the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, raspy, brawling laughter of
Winter, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Butt
Freezer, Slush Maker, Stacker of Snow, Player with
Wind chills and the Ice Box to the Nation.