For Weather
The diner is closed today
for weather, a paper sign
 
on the door, the parking lot
unplowed, the trains  
 
derailed at Mason City
because of the ice.  That noise
 
could have been deer
folding into the fields
 
while the Monticello
Boys Choir sang
 
in the auditorium
about messenger angels.  But what
 
is ceremony without coffee,
pancakes wet with butter,
 
frozen blueberries, spatulas
greased with this morning’s
 
eggs, while someone crouches
outside in corn, hiding prayer
 
beneath her blue sweatshirt,
the whispers of farm
 
against farm, conspiring
to unzip Illinois?  
 
The same man who 
discovered margarine
 
named his daughter
after a white flower.
 
In the south garden,
bearing his name, the cows
 
lose their legs in deep snow,
eating down to the exhausted grass
 
and the frozen lowing things
that uphold it.  In this,
 
we find our can openers
and turn the heat so high,
 
the air filling with such expectation
it could be the new year.
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