Early in the morning, you smell wood smoke,
a reminder, as you walk in snow,
that there are warmer places than this field you trod.
You will return to the hearth heat in time,
but not quite yet, for
you have chosen this walk in winter,
knowing the cold air would cut your lungs
and seep into your bones, knowing
your age and wear and tear would betray you.
You wheeze. A childhood asthma stirred awake by the icy fog
and your hard-headed determination to not let the seasons
hold you captive.
It will pass, this pain, this shallow, moist breathing.
It will pass as your cross the field and clamber over the quarry to home.
And you will enter the old doorway,
eyes glistening as the heat rolls over you
and the snow on your beard melts, knowing
you are fully alive.
About this poem
Sometimes we do things. Good things. Bad things. Even stupid things, just to know we aren’t dead yet. Aren’t humans interesting?