Confronting the Cold

There is a gap in the door of the chicken coop.

I will have to fix it before the first snow,


Even so,

when I open the door,

pastoral red and rigid,

the warmth from four feathered forms

meets the front of my face

and touches the top of my nose as radiant heat will,

and I like this warmth.

There is a bale of hay,

twined in orange and resting atop its kin

waiting to be cut as the nickering horse extends his neck

over the stall, towards me.

His breath is a revelation in the beam of light,

and it reaches my face like an arm

with fingers extended, wanting to touch.

Another winter is upon us,

and I like this warmth, too.

And more tonight:

I break a thin layer of ice in the trough;

the water underneath holds its tepid viscosity,

and it is not so bad to penetrate the frozen

and dip my hands into water, still.

And you must know, I do like this warmth.

Even more, when the chores are done,

and when the right side of the bed is upturned and magnetic;

I’ve captured the feathered warmth,

and the horse’s thick breath,

and I’ve carried the unfrozen water with me

to fill the mirrored reflection on the left

where the covers are not folded back into a dog-eared page

worth reading again.