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.