Happy Birthday to me! Today begins my 61st year! 61 years brings lots of retrospection and thinking about birthdays of long ago. When I was a child, it almost always seemed to snow on my birthday and I loved it so much! I have also been thinking about Christmas Vacation birthdays. That’s right…one of the benefits of having your birthday 2 days after Christmas is that you never have school… but that is one of the detriments as well. Sometimes it would have been nice to be in school on my birthday… and even better, it would have been so fun having a snow day!
I won’t see any snow today (it’s pouring down rain…sigh) but thankfully Billy Collins can conjure up a Snow Day for me!
I hope you all enjoy a bit of a Snow Day today (even if there is no physical snow!) I will see you back here tomorrow with an update on my word!
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.
Billy Collins, “Snow Day” from Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (New York: Random House, 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Billy Collins. Reprinted with the permission of Sll/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.
Happy Birthday Kat!! Love the poemn and…sorry about your rain…I’m betting that is heading out way in a day or so. Wishing you all the joy a new year can bring – much happiness and good health. You wear 61 very well! xoxo, vera
Happy, Happy Birthday to you, Kat! We’ve got a little bit of a wintry mix this morning, so I know the few snowflakes I saw were in your honor. May your 61st year be one of happiness, health, curiosity, wonder, and plenty of good poetry. Billy Collins can really capture a snow day – the excitement of listening for your school and the grandiose silence of the snow. Thank you for a lovely poetic start to my Monday!
A very Happy Birthday to you Kat. No snow here under the east side of the Rockies. Strange winter for sure.
Enjoy your day!
Happy birthday, Kat! While I’m sure you’re not getting a snow day today, I hope it’s a wonderful day for you and you can take some time to fully enjoy it!
Happiest of happy birthday wishes to you, Kat! May the day be filled with delights, even if they won’t include snow.
Happy birthday! Today is my birthday, too! I’m too far south for snow to be expected, but it’s not completely unheard of. Hope you have a lovely day!
Happy Birthday to you!! A most excellent day for a birthday! 🙂
Happy Birthday, Kat! Enjoy every minute of your day, whatever the weather!
Happy Birthday Kat
Happy Birthday! We had snow here in England, just a dusting…..
oh Happy Birthday! my friend in Philly reported snow, and I so hoped you’d see some, too … best wishes for this next trip around the sun!
Happy Birthday to you. My best wishes for a good next year. Boy do I remember as a mother of two and a teacher laying in bed and listening to the radio hoping for a snow day. Those were the days before email and cell phones. Radio was the way we were notified. Thanks to you and Billy Collins for a trip down memory lane.
Happy, happy birthday to you!! Wishing you all the good things, Kat.
Happy Happy Birthday, Kat!!!
Happy (late) Birthday, Kat! That poem is perfect – thank you for sharing it! I hope the week is full of your favorite things!