You could tell it was coming, wind whirled
From due north, cattle a black knot of misery,
Farm dogs hanging close to the shed,
Sun hidden behind cloud banks, blanketed

Against torrent and turmoil headed their way
.Old men at the store shook their heads
,Drank their beer, coffee ” ‘allowed as how”,left
Early. Even little kids stayed close in. Bone  

Deep instinct told them to dread hours ahead.
Christmas not far away, tree already there,
Grown-up’s worry lines joined deep creases.
Sister, two kids alone, raced  to reach them.

Snow didn’t fall, it shot vertical lines cross country,
As if in some artic joke of a freezing  icy race.
Shortest day of the year so early dark came fast,
Aunt’s car struggled up steep grade in the winter blast.

Thank God, silent prayer breathed, as they hurried in.
Stormed for hours, grown-ups gave up sleep, lights
Stayed on, who knows how. Kids, a tumble, slept on
Makeshift pallets near the fire. Wind howled the night.

Solid house, built to last, creaked, groaned, popped.
Worry and down right fear stalked inside the walls
,No memory of surviving such a gale comforted,
First time a norther dropped its way to their south.

By morning light the known world was a lea of  
Feet and yards of snow. It carved a new geography
Of fence, barn, and that knotted herd of Angus
Bewildered, close to death, stark against the sky.

Christmas came, and Santa, too, but was of little note,
They lived through what old men called, storm
Of the ages. Kids of course opened presents, ate
Candy and thought the whole thing was a lark.

On the road each household was safe, losses held
To an animal or two, each caught out too long.
Stories told still of a northern storm that swelled
In Bluegrass land in the midst of a Christmas song.     .