Life in the Middle Ground
A day past thaw and it is cold again.
I do not feel the cold as I should,
standing with the snowflakes,
a north wind ruffling what is left of my hair.
I do not feel the cold as you should.
A lifetime in darkness changes you,
forcing you to see light where there is no light,
see seasons to come more than the one you live in.
The wind is light. A bare breeze. I sniff it in,
smelling spring where there is no spring. Not yet.
In the distance you see smoke. A wood stove perhaps.
A warm place, just out of sight.
I have such a home. Not too far from here. Warm.
I will go there soon.
When the cold begins to feel like cold.
You are, after all, slow in feeling,
content to take in the landscape.
Imagine the inevitable spring,
a landscape no longer empty,
shouting gloriously in color.
I will not feel that enough either.
Clipped by experiences and the medications
that keep my soul alive, I live in the middle ground.
Always a bit behind. Always a little out of season,
Do not weep for me. Many never survive what I have.
They do not get second chances at love.
Second chances to be a father anew.
They do not rise from the ashes as I have,
Full of faith that the next season is warmer.
Sure of it when the landscape tells me otherwise.
I do not feel the cold as I should, safe
in the lessons love and faith have bred in my old bones.
About this poem.
I have spoken before of my slow processing of emotions. A result of long-ago trauma and the medication that keeps me on the level It takes a bit of time for my emotions to catch up with the world around me. It is a bit odd, but after more than a decade, I am used to it.
Used to it, but it is still weird.
The picture was taken down the road in West Pawlet, VT. One of my favorite pictures is the same shot, in the lush late summer. I use that one often as my Facebook cover image.
Be well. Be grateful. Travel wisely,