Sitting in the Snow
by Corinne H. Smith

When I was young and winter came,
I longed to go outside
And play and scamper in the snow
And sled and slip and slide.

My mother bundled me all up
With coat and hat and boots,
Some mittens and a thick-knit scarf,
And I was set to scoot.

I bounded out into our yard —
The funnest place to be!
I trudged across the new snowscape
And squealed with winter glee.

But once that cold air hit me,
My whole body said “Uh-oh.”
Immediately and urgently,
I knew I had to “go.”

I couldn’t turn around and march
Right back inside the door.
My mother would have had a fit
And given me what-for.

It would take much time and work
To peel off my cocoon.
But what else could I do?
I had to think of something soon.

Here was all this luscious snow,
Almost heaven-sent.
I picked a drift to settle in
And sat down, and I “went.”

I went right through my underwear;
I went right through my pants.
I went while no one else was there
Because I had the chance.

Before you wrinkle up your nose
And look quite mortified:
Please realize that before I sat
I moved my coat aside.

My bottom got real warm at first,
And then it got real cold.
I knew I had to jump right up
Before that ice took hold.

I wasn’t proud of what I did.
But really: Who would know?
My coat and pants got just as wet
From playing in the snow.

As I rolled snowballs into men,
My seat became quite stiff.
My secret was still safe, I thought.
I even took a whiff.

My Aunt Bert knew and told my mom.
“You know, she ‘goes’ out there.”
Mom never asked or scolded me.
I’m glad she didn’t care.

Fifty years have come and gone
Since I last “went” in snow.
I almost can’t believe I had
The courage then to “go.”

Today, if I’m out shoveling snow
And that old urge begins,
I either hurry back inside
Or try to hold it in.

So here’s a tip to girls out there
Who want to play in snow:
Go to the bathroom first — Or, SIT!
No one will ever know.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author with a sizable snow drift, circa 1965, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I’ve always been a fan of winter. I love how snow softens the ugliness and sharp corners of everyday life. Even with a small dusting, I’ll go out and clear the sidewalk, just to be busy in the midst of the flakes. Winter and I have shared a dirty little secret since my childhood, however. It didn’t occur to me to make it public until the “Me, As a Child,” prompt and poetry challenge came to my attention. Surely I can’t be the only girl who ever did this.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Corinne H. Smith is a writer and a poet who worked as a librarian for more than 30 years. She is the author of Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau’s Last Journey, the first book to follow American author Henry David Thoreau’s 1861 trip from Massachusetts to Minnesota. Her forthcoming book for middle schoolers, Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activities, will be published by Chicago Review Press in 2016. She writes memoir and nature pieces as well as book and music reviews for a variety of outlets. She has participated in public poetry readings in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. She was one of eight poets picked for inclusion in Lines in the Landscape: Plein Air Poetry at Fruitlands (Fruitlands Museum, Harvard MA, 2012). Corinne counts as her rhyming influences the work of two respected New England poets: Robert Frost and Dr. Seuss. She currently lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. You can catch up with her at

Author photo © 2014 Rob DePaolo.