I shiver and look upon a frozen vista
twisted and tortured
by air so cold life itself stops …
for a moment.
Between death and me is a thin pane of glass.
It divides this sheltered life from the cold.
A cold not so unspeakable that if that pane of glass broke
I could not save myself by walking to a neighbor
but cold enough that if I didn’t walk to a neighbor
I would die.
In our winter quarters, suspicious, careful,
sequestered in our chrysalis
we peer out our windows at our neighbors
and hope that they too understand
the tenuous hold we have on life.