A Hard Freeze


When the temperature drops with the sun,
there is a stillness that comes on the world:
like a blanket of crystal on the lawn
that mutes out even the low sound of breath,

or a layer of gauze, chilled and lowered
on the exposed throat of the universe
(so that its murmuring voice is made dull
and one must listen for it in the hush),

the silence that comes with the evening frost
brings a solemn and delicately cool stop
to the city as it huddles for warmth
in its houses and beside parked cars,
as the slow creep of frost extends its touch
and holds the whole earth absolutely still.

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Changes in Mood


Sometimes, it seems like the world is awash
in a dark, foul murky liquid that seeks
a height just above the chin, and tastes bad
to boot; at times like these, when nothing goes

according to plan, or requires no cash
or something else you just don’t have on hand,
and the whole experience makes you cry,
wishing there was a rock to crawl under,

it’s nice to have a wonderful person
smiling right back at you in the morning,
who’s glad that you were born and thinks you’ll do.

Of course, that feeling is even better
when after a day of constant worry
you both laugh because the cold car started.

24 JAN 2003

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