The outcome wasn’t certain for the Essex town that day.
The clock read ten to eight with just ten minutes left to pray.
West Caldwell cancelled school first, and then others did the same.
Silence fell upon the town where Anthony Fasano rose to fame.
A mirthless few got up to shower, resignedly. The rest
Clung to the hope that springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, “The forecast! If only the boss could get a look at that.
It would surely be a snow day for teachers and their cats!”
Then from the teachers’ throats there rose a frantic yell.
It roared down Forest Ave; it cast a magic spell.
It pounded down to Brookdale, and though things had seemed bleak,
The weatherman! The mighty weatherman was about to speak.
There was ease in the weatherman’s manner, as he stepped into his place,
No shame from last year’s forecasts found upon his face.
And when grinning at the anchors, he slowly rolled his sleeves,
Every teacher in the tri-state found a reason to believe.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he pointed at the map.
The camera zoomed on Essex County to a thundering of claps.
But as the smug forecaster placed his hands upon his hips
There came a commercial for Lipton Secrets Onion Dip!
From their couches, angry teachers let loose a frightening roar
Like the beating of the storm waves at the beloved Jersey Shore.
“Kill him! Kill Lonnie Quinn!” shouted a teacher ready to attack,
And it’s likely she’d have killed him had not losing her pension held her back.
After a car commercial, Lonnie’s perfect smile shone.
He resumed his weather forecast; he droned on and on.
Suddenly from his lips words just started flying.
At “freezing rain” and “road conditions,” the teachers started crying.
“It’s sleeting!” cried the hopeful teachers, and an echo answered “Snow.”
And at that very moment, cell phones began to glow.
Caller ID revealed the sweetest name ever seen
As Verona BOE rained like manna on the screens.
Oh somewhere in South Jersey, the children sit at their desks.
School bells are ringing somewhere, and somewhere there are tests.
And somewhere teachers are working, and somewhere children pout.
But there is no school for Verona, for Verona has lucked out.
Jennifer Kleinknecht has been the media specialist at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School since 2007. She writes about life as a school librarian on her blog, “The ‘Yes’ Librarian”.