It is death defying
To stand on the lawn at dusk,
Metal pail swinging
From my gloved hand.
The air so cold
It feels as though
The inhospitable earth
Is trying to dispossess me.

I stamp my boot,
Toes already frozen:
Tell me I don’t belong—
I dare you!

Whiskers of snow brush
My numb cheeks,
Whisper, Pathetic
Warm blooded human.
With neither hide nor hair
To keep frost crystals
From trammeling up
Your soupy blood,
You don’t stand a chance.
Cocooned creature,
Strip you bare and you
You don’t possess
The survival skills of a squirrel.

I shrug ice feathers
Off my shoulders,
Blowing hot breath into
Wool paws.
Earth, you’ve got
Nothing to prove,
No judgments to pass.
Now leave me alone
To stomp my way
To the compost heap.


23 thoughts on “DISPOSSESSED

  1. Sunshine Jansen

    “To keep frost crystals
    From trammeling up
    Your soupy blood” … that really made me smile (as I’ve also been reading a book on animal adaptations to winter — we are pathetic indeed!)

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Yes, we have very little in the way of natural adaptation to extremes of heat of cold. Thank goodness we have brains and credit cards! ; )

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Sometimes I really wonder why I bother with the compost in the winter. And then I uncover that rich black gold in the spring and it all makes sense.

  2. charissagrace

    I also felt that the ending once again pointed us in a more cosmic direction, what with the echoes of a metaphor involving a compost heap…and us stomping our way there, in the cold…just yeah!

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Yup, that’s it, Charissa. Ultimately, the earth can never disenfranchise us–we’re all compost! 🙂

  3. Brenda

    Definitely one of your best, Melissa and so timely. You dredged up memories of the times I chickened out and left the compost in another bucket frozen stiff on the back porch. (I didn’t even keep a “chicken” container on that deck a decade ago.) Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Brenda, the deer are very happy that I bother with the compost at this time of year. And just the other day I found bob cat prints all around it. Now the fox and coyote have someone else to vie with over the chicken bones. Thanks so much for reading.

  4. Argus

    For some reason I kept being reminded of my latest ‘very favouritest movie ever’ (Disney’s ‘Frozen’). Both are art. Diz will make a fortune from it, you may not; but if it helps here’s a few wags from an old dog … )))) 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s