The Children’s Blizzard

– January 12, 1888

Snow falls in Gunfighter Flag 15-2

BY ASH GOEDKER 

“jaw firm, talus and tarsus intact:
the body’s perfect alphabet beneath the snow.”
– Corrie Williamson, “Remains”

I.

Some mornings we never expect the devil
out for our chimneys: days in January
sun warms the Midwest,
dissolving winter. Everyone out
of their soddies and shops. Nosing the sky
as we all do in a thaw. We come
from a long line of leaving
lamps and fireplaces burning.
We grow to taste the cedar.
That burn,
                  a blur, drives us –

        can       you      imagine

nothing
pressing
your time
                  but temperature?

II.

                  Dropped
within a few minutes

                  18 degrees:

III.

              A disaster people named
after their own children: Arnie,
                                              Evelyn,
                  Harold,

        James,               Myla –

snowbanks bearing
more children
than schooldays.

IV.

Can you imagine the air 
thin in their throats?
Their bodies loosened
to a gallop on the winding
roads, the come ons,
the can’t catch mes.

Ash Goedker hails from Northern Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Idaho where she was also the Editor-in-Chief at Fugue. She currently teaches at Nicholls State University. She was the winner of the University of Idaho’s Academy of American Poets Prize, and was a finalist in the 2016 Indiana Review ½ K Prize. Her poems have been published in Indiana Review, Midwest Review, Third Point Press, velvet-tail, and others.