Snow Day, in verse

or,

“For What?”

 
At half past five the other night

After long work hours and sleeping tight

A call awoke me from sound sleep

To tell me news of snow too deep.

 

Too deep for school, so we must not

endanger all our tiny tots.

The voice of Dr. Lanzo said,

Read from a text pre-recor-ded.

 

Delayed, her message, school will be

To ease our morning misery.

Yet after only five hours slumber

I saw a test -- which was dumber:

 

To heed an off-Cape weatherman

And, like a gaped, unthinking fan

Take as gospel his frantic warning

Of drifts chest-high, come eight next morning,

 

Or, instead, remember here

In Chatham, with Gulf Stream so near

It is as sure to pull the mercury

above freezing, with no threat to me.

 

No threat to me, no threat to us,

No threat to children on a bus.

So, now, awake, I lay in bed,

And watched a sky, without fear or dread.

 

Concern, instead I felt for thee,

Who art compensated hourly.

Those parents who, with grit and grime

Make privately money with their time.

 

So when it rained, instead, this day

The pointlessness of the delay

Hit home most painfully, you know

By those who aren’t afraid of snow.

 

We are not scared, it does snow here.

This is New England, which is most clear.

We have the smarts, we have the tools,

To keep the roads up for our schools.

 

This timidity runs counter to

A tougher people here who grew

Up bearing skiffs into the sea

With every bit of dignity.

 

The safety argument does not fly

We had snow here in days gone by

But then, no antilock brakes, no air bags

And still school commenced, without these lags.

 

Please, let us be a town that works

Instead of where suspicion lurks,

For in dire times you come to ask

Us to fund your educational tasks.

 

In budget times this spring you’ll say

You need still more cash to pay

For programs and the salaries

Of you and your employees.

 

So here’s a fact of school delayed:

If we don’t work, we don’t get paid.

 

That you cancel school in this season,

For mere threat of snow is beyond reason.

You waste our money, you waste our time

So we may not be able to spare a dime.

 

Every public servant should be awares

Of their constituency’s needs and cares.

But still, if you must heed the forecaster’s lies,

Set a good example and apologize.


Read this and Andy's other columns online at The Cape Cod Chronicle.

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