Green Hills Literary Lantern

The Real Names for Snow


Unexpected snow on the car windshield

in the morning when you’re late for work.

Hushed snow when you leave a lover’s warm bed

in the still dark and drive away.

Relentless snow when you’ve been driving for hours

in a hurry to get to your father’s bedside

and the wipers say, turn around

just turn around.

Angry snow that pelts the car with slush

when you’re already crying so hard

you can’t see anyway.

Fantasy snow we think we want on Christmas

so our lives can be a little bit wonderful

like in that movie.


“Flurry,” “dusting,” “powder” are the lies

winter tells about itself.


The real names for snow are

“Scrape” and “Cover Your Tracks” and

“Died on the Table,”

“Lovers Lie” and “”Rock It a Little, I’ll Push,”

“Chest Pain” and “Collapsing Roof.”

and “Whatever You Do,

Don’t Slam on the Brakes.”




L.H. Landon is a writer living in St. Louis.