John F. McCullagh
Fifty Words For Snow - Poem by John F. McCullagh
In the arctic wastes where the Inuit tribe hunts caribou and fights to survive,
I have been told since long ago that tribe has fifty words for “snow”
That seemed superfluous to me- Fifty words for one commodity!
If I was born an Eskimo, I’d have fifty words to learn and know
I do most of the shoveling here, my wife and children cheer me on.
The winter lingers long and drear, some days it seems the Sun is gone.
Despite the calendar I greatly fear that blessed spring is nowhere near
Tomorrow, the radio makes clear, we’re expecting six more inches here.
Some snow is like a sugary mist, granulated and sublime,
Quite useless for a snow ball fight, for that you need the packing kind.
The worst is the wet sodden snow, the kind that threatens a heart attack.
It’s difficult to lift and throw; it hurts the arms and strains the back.
I told my wife I now know why they need fifty words for snow.
I have a few choice words I’d add; words the children shouldn’t know.
Those Inuit folk who fight to survive in the land of snow and ice-
They have fifty words for snow, only one of which is nice.
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