I posted this in July of 2012, but since it’s Groundhog Day, and I don’t have any more brilliant ideas, I decided this poem was worth a second look. It was published in Emerging Voices in 2012, and I’ve made some revisions since then. You can read the original here. It’s not as cold now as when I first wrote the poem so I look back on that day with gratitude. Click this link to hear me read it.
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.
Sunlight shimmers on frosted glass.
I rub with gloved hand but make no dent,
hear the car pull into the driveway—
its tires crunch on 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 don’t complain–
walking would be a lot worse.
In the YMCA locker room, my nose runs.
Water exercise class in progress,
“North to Alaska” plays on the stereo.
Why would I want to go there? I’m cold enough—
as water’s warmth surrounds me,
I move across the pool–
my mind unfreezes, opens.
Driving home isn’t so bad.
The car has absorbed the winter sun’s warmth.
When I get home, the temperature is four degrees above.
The groundhog did not see his shadow today.
Will there be an early spring?
The late afternoon temperature has risen to twelve above,
feels like twelve below.
Author Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
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