Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Wolverine Winter
By Paul F. Sifton
THE CHICKADEE came in the morning:
Over the Lake hung snow-clouds—piling,
Wheeling for the signal—for the signal
Of the lake gods coming to battle!
Up and down the West Coast went the Life Guards,        5
Sniffing at the air and frowning at the sky;
Peering out to westward, muttering to their Pard—
To their Pard, the surf seeping high.
  While the Winter came out of the North
  Stripped naked, cruel as a bloodless sword!        10
I carried in wood and I pumped me some water;
I cleaned out the chimney and doubled my quilts.
Then I phoned in to town and bid my pals adieu.
We cursed at the weather; promised our God a prayer.
  For the Winter, the frozen Hell of the West Coast,        15
  Like a weasel was sneaking down the shore.
Like the wraith of a profaned tomb it came.
I could see it twisting and writhing round the Point,
Round Little Sauble Point, where the pines and spruces
Whine in a gale like the over-taut string of a viol.        20
Out among the snow-clouds swept its scythe-like breath,
Fretting the pitching waves to frothy frenzies:
Catching their boiling crests in a creamy ice:
And where it passed the moisture was turned to snow.
  At dusk, with a keening wrench and thrust, it left the Lake;        25
  Snarled at the Land; froze the West Coast dead!

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