Friday, April 12, 2013

Not so bad, really


One last kiss, cold and white

O, weary Northerner,

Wrestle your cold feet into boots
this one last time
tonight--
Glove your hands
and walk with me
We'll bring along the dogs

Now then
lift up your chin

Can you feel it?
The ping of infinitesimal darts,
the icy bites on the delicate skin of your nose
before they vanish

Can you hear it?
The squeak of boots,
enough to make your teeth itch

Can you see it?
The night that can't go dark
The billowy ground of
white, fresh as a sheet pulled directly
off a wintry clothesline
Watch as our companions
plow into the snow
looking for some moldering
stick or crust of bread meant for
the chickadees
See the silly grins on their
snow-bearded muzzles

Is it really so bad?

April, yes, but soon
enough, slush will trickle
down the sidewalks, gray and messy
Green will shoulder up through the mud
Sun will baste us sticky,
and sodden air will suck away our breath

I know what you'll do then:
You'll hurry down to the lake

You'll smell of algae,
slip your sweaty skin
into the lake's dark cloak
You'll pull your head
beneath,
propel your steamy form
to the underwater
ladder of the floating dock,

all the while cooled
by the water

the water
not so long ago frozen
by our long white winter.


By Kathleen Kimball-Baker (c) 2012

Image: "Cora on an April walk" by Kathleen Kimball-Baker

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