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,
Warm blooded human.
With neither hide nor hair
To keep frost crystals
From trammeling up
Your soupy blood,
You don’t stand a chance.
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
Earth, you’ve got
Nothing to prove,
No judgments to pass.
Now leave me alone
To stomp my way
To the compost heap.
“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!)
that was also my favorite line…the use of the word trammel was brilliant
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! ; )
Nice. Really great. Good turn out at the end-wahoo!
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.
Wow. Great poem. We haven’t had too much of a winter out my way. Your poem placed me right in winter’s icy hands. I love your imagery.
Glad I could bring a chill to your day! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Well said. And yet we survive our trip to the compost heap to return another day— reminded that we are alive by the icy cold. –Curt
Yes! And quite honestly, I get a thrill from the precariousness of it all.
Exceptional poetry Melissa! Beautifully portrayed with rich rugged emotion.
You’re kind for saying so. Happy it struck a chord for you.
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!
Yup, that’s it, Charissa. Ultimately, the earth can never disenfranchise us–we’re all compost! 🙂
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.
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.
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 … )))) 🙂
Ha, ha, thanks! All welcome.
The term “ice feathers” was lovely – I had to read it twice!
Thanks, Christy. Glad you liked the image.
Reblogged this on Ripple Poetry and commented:
Another beautiful work from Melissa. Love the ice feathers!
Most kind of you, Pearl. I’m so glad my work resonates with you.
Beautifully penned… Those words will last… i.e They won’t melt! 😛
All the best to you, Mellissa ⭐ Aquileana 😀