Triplane Builder

Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall

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Ice Storm

The words I use for your peruse most likely will come to naught,
One can't understand-- much less comprehend-- what experience hasn't bought.
I'd seen the sights of others plights when weather had its say-
Of falling limbs and wires and things-but always far away.---
Heard weeks might pass in winter's grasp--- 'ere power-again-- would flow---
Read lives at cost for what they'd lost, but really couldn't know.
Then one night-- all things were right-- for me to learn first hand-
The front was slow and loth to go-chose halting 'oer my land.
The rain poured down on the frozen ground from the warm air over head-
Still the temperature of the near earth air-below the freeze mark read.
Both limb and wire-- new weights acquire -glistening in their glaze-
A "fairyland"-- but less than grand-- returns my worried gaze--
Sounds of stress from the icy mess- a crackling to and fro-
The constant drip of the raindrops trip-"why can't this change to snow"?
The sodden ground brings another sound that disturbs the peace of mind-
The sump pump's rhythmic pumping-- needing "juice" of a special kind.
Sleep to me was never deep-this night of the burning eye--
My power gone-generator on-gasoline in short supply.
Like a rifle's crack-in the nighttime black-- the woes of the tall white pine-
Their limbs would break and break and break-from the nearness-many were mine.
Overhead-as I lay abed-came sounds of a different vein-
A rooftop crash-then a sliding dash---again and again and again--
These sounds to me-a mystery-I've no trees overhead!!
Could not agree that some far off tree could ever lean over my bed.
Then a thunderous crash and a sickening smash and the sound of glass as it broke--
The night is too black and all vision I lack---to assess what had caused this last stroke.
Not till gray dawn could I check out the lawn and see where I needed to see-
Ice covered the ground as I slipped my way round to whatever happened-- would be.
It was hard to believe-- the scene I perceive-devastation in such an array-
Of five cherry trees-three brought to their knees-up-rooted and fallen away.
The one on my roof's-- now living proof-- of what I gave never a care-
That a sixty foot tree could so threaten me-- when its root-ball was so far out there-
Though the damage is real-I'm lucky I feel-it could've been greater I know-
The house will survive and I am alive and the kilowatts once again flow.

Spring has now sprung (lawn mowing's begun) but the black night will not go away-
The debris from each tree-- keeps haunting me--and my chipper works day after day.
The massive root humps-attached to the stumps like an Easter Island display-
Have yet to reveal how I am to deal with the need to haul them away.
When in winter I know-(It's to be ice and not snow)-for some one in some other State--
I'll have to agree that I'm glad it's not me, but I'll know just a bit of his fate.

Bill Woodall

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