Lake effect snow dumped onto the Boston Hills,
westerly winds pushing across
to pummel our reliable Ford Falcon
as it chugged up to our rented brick farmhouse,
snow curling sculptured drifts from Lake Erie’s squalls.

Day after day the same,
the snow spit-out clots
pushing at the old car
as I drove back and forth to Buffalo,
thirty-five miles away, taking Diana
to school after Julia’s bus
brought her to an open classroom in Springville.

Mostly, Julia played games, working with clay,
drawing and reading a little
but not really learning math
as the winds pressed on around the farmhouse.

I breathed into these stiff winds
to greet Julia as we struggled,
winds sweeping down the hill
as Lake Erie itself drifted in around us.

The year Diana died
the snow swirled around the Thruway
then followed us up the hill.