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Extreme Ottawa

by Chris Sorrenti

from 30+ Celsius in summer
to -30 in winter
factoring in humidex and wind chill
Ottawa has always been a place
of temperature extremes
twice a year me and my fellow residents
seem trapped behind
closed doors and windows
prisoners within artificial environments
unbearable without furnace or air conditioner

in January my father’s blood dreams of Calabria
July my mother’s for Ulster
together our Canadian heritage
locked somewhere between
born and raised amid four distinct seasons
though for the above reason
spring and autumn will always be my favorites
when every window in the house
can be flung wide open
and we can breathe naturally again

© 2014

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Posted on 01/09/2014
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 01/09/14 at 05:07 PM

My dad grew up in Adams NY, south of Watertown...and my mom even further north in Long Lake and both are BBRRRR COLD and not far from the Canadian border.......fortunately, we usually visited in the summers.....and going in and out of Canada was easy and unrestricted-no big deal....my have things changed.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 01/09/14 at 09:05 PM

You've certainly got it right concerning Ottawa! I recall getting snowed in there during Christmas recess when I went to his home with a friend. We were late back to college. Enjoyed Ottawa years later during a summer vacation with family.

Posted by Laura Doom on 01/11/14 at 11:36 AM

Scandinavian & Gaelic lineage for me--extremes of temperature and temperament. I wish you a blackout-free winter...

Posted by Rhiannon Jones on 01/11/14 at 04:24 PM

Thanks for this. This week, I survived Florida's two-day winter. Today is hot. I miss the predictable northern four-seasonal changes. Sort of.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/12/14 at 05:53 PM

It's been a cold one, for sure. Your poems give me great glimpses of your family - I liked reading about Calabria. So many fine contrasts in this with your family origins to the weather conditions. I have to have four distinct seasons, but I can understand why people feel the need to migrate at certain times of the year. Your open window at the end is a fine finish. Thanks for this, Chris.

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