three kinds of cold

7:45am bright cold
15 below zero, and from the very beginning even the daylight is frosted, white around the edges, icy sprites dancing at the edges of my vision. Tears well up in my eyes and don’t stop, running down my cheeks until they would freeze, I imagine, only I hurry back in.

The birds and squirrels get double rations today.

3:30pm cold glare
In late afternoon the sun glares into my eyes. Birds flutter on the ground, feeding. Thin and fragile, their wings catch the low sun like stained glass and I pray – for them, for their beauty, for their liveliness in the face of bitter cold.

9:46pm dark cold
After dark, the glare of the sun gone, the cold gets colder. And the colder it gets, the more lonesome. Animals gone, people scarce, and all one, darkness and silence close in. Shoulders hunch over under the weight of the cold – a clear, empty, immovable weight.