Janice Krasselt Tatter

Now Is the Winter of our Discontent

From the South, we are new to this snow
day after day, week after week. We’ve begun
to hate Canada and its air masses targeting
New England. Canadians have never liked Americans
and have harbored revenge since we admitted
they talk funny, and somehow we suspect
they control the weather. The weathermen
seem to delight in their visions defined
by technology. Sometimes they apologize
but they don’t fool us. They grin too much
as they point to the temperatures
hovering so low we wonder if perhaps
their imagination runs rampant. One
even explains how to check oil in the car,
and as he says that, he notes below zero degrees
could bring on frostbite, his slight eyebrow
movement denoting smugness. We’re also
dubious about the snow plow driver
who gives tips on staying off the road,
knowing he’s simply happy with business,
his mouth twisted in an almost smile.

I started dreaming of the South
and its mosquito swarms, sweaty
clothes so stained I couldn’t keep clean,
my breath labored from fanning the air,
even heat strokes. I drank from the river
no one named, that spot near Hot Springs
where cows cool off in the shallow part
and bank fishermen wearing shorts, no shirts
fish for bass. Some might describe this heat
as hell but even in dreams it’s all I know.

Janice Krasselt Tatter has an M.A. in English with Emphasis in Creative Writing from Ohio University. In 2006 she had her first book of poetry REMEMBERING THE TRUTH published by Temenos Publishing Company. Just this month in April 2009, she had a chapbook COMMUNION OF VOICES published by Big Table Publishing Company. She has had poems published in several journals such as Poesia, Southern Hum, Red River Review, and Alimentum (as menupoem). Her partner and she moved in 2008 from Little Rock, Arkansas to New Haven, Connecticut.