By Dominic Stobart
Some years ago I read a verse
in rhyming couplets clipped and terse.
Of idle gardeners who neglect
to keep their properties well kept.
That comic ode doth now inspire
my jaded muse, my failing fire.
Yet horticulture’s not my theme
but rather an obscure machine
whose sole objective it would seem
is to keep the sidewalks clean
of slush and snow and ice and sleet
and make them neat for people’s feet.
Last Thursday morning, when it snowed,
I plucked my quill and penned this Ode.
With precipitation comes anticipation of snowmen and skating and fun,
and skiing and icefalls, and sledding and snowballs,
and hot chocolate toddies with rum.
But the one thing I fear as the storm clouds draw near
is the prospect of clearing the snow.
Though it’s back breaking work that others may shirk
its my neighborly duty I know.
So with shovel and adz and with two local lads
it’s into the blizzard we trudge
chipping and lifting, and scraping and shifting
the mountains of snow for to budge.
Then a terrible clamor echoes through the Manor
and up goes the cry all about,
the yellow clad feline is making a beeline
and pushing the snow with its snout.
Mark you this beast as it crawls its way east
along Esplanade, Highbrook, and Ely,
with a clickety clack its rotating track carves
a furrow down Francis quite freely.
But when it has past we all stand aghast
at the terrible mess in its wake,
while the snow is displaced - the lawns are defaced
and at Pierpont our fists we do shake.
The older and idle are wholly unbridled
in praise for your snow plowing toil,
but the time that you take and mess that you make
serve only to make my blood boil.
Snowcat, oh snowcat, I say to you no
cat desist with your wandering ways.
Get back to your shed and retire to your bed
no more to trouble my gaze.