Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter's Gifts

Winter's Gifts
I have heard my footsteps crunching
On the freshly fallen snow.
I have turned and seen my footprints
Where I just had been before.
The brine from running nostrils,
The crystals striking lips,
The chill of air on cheekbones—
These all are winter's gifts.
The trees that stand in silence
And don their cloaks of snow,
They too are gifts of winter—
And who could ask for more?
I can hear the sound of footfalls
On the softly falling snow.
I can see the trail of footprints
Where I've slowly walked before.
But then the winds grow stronger
And sharp enough to pierce
The layers in which I'm huddled,
As the blizzard turns to fierce.
And yet, I thank, while freezing,
And blinded by the ice,
The winter, for its presents,
Though some are not so nice.
And later, while I shovel,
With aching back and arms,
Or when the snow gets blackened,
I'm grateful for its charms.
And though that snow, in melting,
Has soaked my socks and feet,
While fingers still are frozen,
My thanks, I still repeat.
For the hardships of the winter,
For the cold that numbs my hands,
I am grateful.  These are blessings
That a seeker understands.
I have heard the crunch of footsteps
On the white and virgin snow.
I have seen the trail of footprints
Where I once had trudged before.
I have watched the snow get blacker;
I have seen it turn to slush.
I have shoveled and I've grumbled
But I've told myself to hush.
For only in the winter,
In the cold and wind and snow,
Am I grateful, though I'm living,
That I soon will have to go.
As I shiver, while I'm standing
As I'm waiting for the bus,
While I'm holding in my urine,
I am tempted then to cuss.
But I turn towards the heavens
That are dreary, dark and gray.
Though the wind is chill and biting,
To those heavens then I pray:
“I am grateful for your presents,
For the hardship that uplifts.
If you'd only take me swiftly,
You could spare my share of gifts.”
2016 January 23rd, Sat.
(during winter storm Jonas)
Brooklyn, New York


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