It’s thirteen below on my morning walk.
The snow is rock, the brook is a brick.
Everything crackles. The air itself is brittle.
Yet chickadees and nuthatches work the oaks
in their bare feet, on their tiny ankles.
Life prevails, sustained by a mystery within.
There are seeds that sprout after thousands of years.
Pine cones that open only after forest fires.
Survivors of child abuse who turn out lovely.
There is some force of life in you
that can’t be put out, that is—what’s the word?—
Shelter that spark. Give thanks.
Layer up if you have to. But trust it.
It will keep you. It will keep you.
but only outside
you. What is within
is not subject to passing storms.
February 6, 2023