The Custodian of Snowstorms

I’m the one who cleans up  

after all that easy sweep

of downy flakes transforms  

the winter scene to bushy heaps.


I’m the one up at 4 a.m., driving  

my beeping snowplow through 

drifted roads, leading the blind 

drivers in a slow parade 


of scraped slush, yellow glow. 

I’m the one spreading  

sand and cinders on sheets 

of ice before someone breaks 

their neck on glassy patches.

Heater blasting in my cab 

to keep out the 30 below, 

I work the storm’s long track, 

passing shuttered houses 

on side streets where I know 

people lie awake and listen 

for the sound of an opening road.

Robin Chapman

Robin Chapman’s work has been awarded the Cider Press Book Editors’ Award, the Posner Poetry Award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s Outstanding Book of Poetry Award, and the Helen Howe Poetry Award from Appalachia. She lives in Madison, WI. Panic Season (Tebot Bach, 2022, available from is her newest book.

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