Cold Weather, Anyone?

Now that it’s July, and temperatures are in the nineties and triple digits, it’s time to think cool thoughts, really cool thoughts. The following poem was just published in the 2012 issue of Emerging Voices, a literary journal produced by Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff.


Five Ways of Looking at Cold



 At a quarter to nine in the morning, it’s seventeen below.

Waiting for a ride, I stand inside the kitchen door.

The sun shimmers on the storm door’s frosted glass.

I rub with gloved hand

but don’t even make a dent in the frost.

I hear the car pull into the driveway—

its tires crunch on the frozen snow.


 I don’t have the heat on yet,” she says when I get in the car.

“It needs to warm up first.”

I’m not complaining–

walking the half mile to the YMCA

would be a lot worse.

When we arrive, I feel like a popsicle.

In the locker room, my nose runs.


 The water exercise class is in progress when I get in the pool.

“North to Alaska” plays on the stereo.

Why would I want to go there? I’m cold enough–

but as the water’s warmth surrounds me,

I move across the pool–

my mind unfreezes, opens to a world of possibilities.


 Driving home isn’t so bad.

The car has absorbed the winter sun’s warmth

after sitting in the parking lot for over an hour.

When I get home, the temperature is four degrees above zero.


 The groundhog did not see his shadow today–

there will be an early spring.

We’ve never had one of those in Wyoming.

In the late afternoon, the temperature has risen to twelve above—

it feels like twelve below.

Where’s our early spring?


What do you remember about cold weather? To keep warm, did you chop wood and dump it in the fireplace, shovel more coal in the furnace, snuggle with the one you love by the fire? Have you ever seen a groundhog? Please share your memories below. If you have terouble with the comment form, you can e-mail me at the address above.


 Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver


Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at:

5 thoughts on “Cold Weather, Anyone?”

  1. Congratulations on getting your poem published. Hot weather is a rarity here in Alberta. Most of the year, we experience the cold or cool weather. I can remember how moisture would freeze in my nostrils when I used to go to school as a boy. Mom bundled me up well against the cold but my nose often felt frozen. As an adult, I bundle up when I go out in winter. After all, I can take something off if I feel too warm but I can't do anything if I'm too cold except walk faster.


  2. Hi Bruce, Right now, I can't help thinking you're so lucky not to have hot weather, but in the winter, I'll wish for summer again. Thanks for sharing your memories.


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