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Late Winter Lesson

ISSUE:  Winter 2007

I liked the single-digit days.
I knew exactly where I stood.
Trailing my dog down frozen ruts,
our iron routine, I knew the drill.

Someone was digging someone out—
the heft of breath, no wasted words—
while snow compiled its evidence
that no one was going anywhere.

I liked my mind riveted
on one idea, a single fear.
A late-night jet sounded too close,
amplified in dense-packed air.

It screamed, as if with shattering news,
then landed safely, all on board
preoccupied and matter-of-fact.
If forced to leave, I could get back.

But now the ground’s aroused
by warming ambiguities.
Ice grows a smoother skin.
Who walks unwary will be chagrined.

I’ve already fallen twice.


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