Thursday, February 8, 2018

cold snap brain freeze

It’s just the cold playing with us. That loud crack that woke us
jolted us from sleep and we thought damn maybe a mouse
a mouse again always just that one mouse reappearing again
and again the same mouse not a plague of mice but of course
a plague of mice but that ended weeks ago with the last mouse
trapped finally trapped escorted out thrown across a snowbank
into a field “Bon voyage, Baby!” and since then no mice
no mouse we sleep through the night each night except for
occasional cracks that wake us but with the mice away it’s
just the cold at play.

Still we get up go downstairs and damn it is cold so cold
so cold we flash the flashlight in all the usual places
maybe it was a mouse Josie thinks it was a mouse
but there’s no sign of mouse just cold and outside at three a.m.
I see fifteen below and it’s not even the coldest part of the night

I turn around see Orion Big & Tall and the moon down low
southeast a half moon on its back the golden color of wax
slightly tipped tipped forward on the horizon toward the west
about to let something drip a golden half moon on its back
through thin dark branches of trees slightly tipped and
I’ve never seen the moon like that no
I’ve never seen the moon like that.

Back inside quilt pulled tight adding three logs to fire
we go back to bed layers of covers pressing down feeling warm
but still the cold pressing atop the top cover far away
close enough a return to sleep not coming but for one
one dreams as he does I feel the twitch the punch
of his paws and wonder always what is he chasing
(if chasing it is) is he chasing the rabbit the deer me
old raggedy chippie or does it get more complex
like my dreams like wow how did that person get there
where did that person come from and maybe when Josie
dreams dogs he used to know at the shelter pop up or people
from his first family appear something way beyond rabbits
and mice coming and going as he punches away
at my side in slumber.

The glow of flames dancing on the ceilings on walls.

The sound of woodstove ticking and tocking stretching
ratcheting up fire steel air.

Sleep does not come and sleep does not come and I don’t care
and why should I as suddenly I picture that hammock chair
hanging outside in the summer reading swaying looking out
over the fields the fields green and yellow and orange and
the color of wheat swaying in a breeze that is gentle and warm
or cooling if I want it to be cooling and the feet are bare and
the legs are bare and the arms are bare and the skin breathes
and under the covers Josie breathes sighs stops twitching.

The glow of flames dancing on the ceilings on walls.

In my head words distinct in lines a slow-motion struggle
will these words stay go get their way and no I can’t sleep
if I could choose I would choose sleep drifting away
these words drifting away on a raft of dreams
a raft of their own a life of their own and on their own
no need for me no need for tipping no need

Fireside now present tense Josie beside (slightly twitching) (snoring)
I let words go like kite on string not quite still attached tethered
jerky string the tether I’m thinking feeling weak link weak link
let it go