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1997 Red River Flood, Part 2


Part 2 of our 9 part series on the Red River flood of 1997 is a poem by Jane Kurtz titled Winter of 1997:

Snow mounds like mashed potatoes on our sidewalks

I shovel, shovel, shovel

Snow piles onto snow, higher and higher, up to my waist.

I shovel, shovel, shovel.

Snow on snow, up to my head.

It’s so cold that when my Mom drives Sarah and me to school,

The car can see its own breath, misty white in the freezing air.

Other cars leap from behind tall snowbanks,

Shocking my stomach, making Sarah squeak.

On Saturdays, Sarah and I walk across the river to touch Minnesota.

Winter keeps coming.

I shovel, shovel, shovel.

Trucks rumble by, piled high with snow,

Carrying it away to some secret snow dumping ground.

“What are we going to do with all the snow?” people ask.

“Shovel it into your basement”, someone says.

“Next spring , that’s where it will end up anyway.”

Everyone laughs.

By Merrill Piepkorn