Sometimes, too many times Mom went crazy,
never meant for children, particularly three girls
in a low rent, attached home, three way-shared
bedroom, and seven feet of play space in the living room.
On snowy days we played train, turned over chairs
and pulled blankets over the chair legs. The oldest
child, always the conductor, and the youngest,
always the do nothing passenger until fights
broke out, since we all wanted to be conductor,
collect tickets, announce train stops, let passengers off.
On snow days no school, fights replaced boredom.
She bundled us up in mittens, wool hats and snow suits,
put us out then locked the door with words like,
go pretend to be an icicle.
So we sat on the front step no roof pitched
over us, minus 5 degrees, and waited out her mood,
no traffic in sight and toes, yes toes, too numb to move.
We learned early about taking risks and their consequences,
knew not to knock or ring the bell.
Punishments worse than cold would welcome us.
about the author:
Lee Landau is a mature poet who hones her craft in cold, snowy winters of Minnesota to jumpstart her creativity and spark her imagination. She explores the emotional terrain of revisiting the past.