Friday, October 31, 2008

I Wonder...

Fastening the chain back on the gate,
My frozen hands pick up the cedar post
And cradle it across the shoulder of my coat.
Crowding close they follow me down the path,
Past piles of hay and feed bunks,
Thirst, not hunger, their master now.

The clouds above me are empty,
Their frozen tears cried out to the West,
Covering the earth with soft blankets of silence.
And I wonder…
I wonder where she is tonight.
What her name might be.

As the last warmth of day disappears,
Beneath shades of orange and red and gray,
I am brought back to my present place,
The wind turning my head to hide my face from it.
Frosty-white nostrils in front of black faces,
Wait for my work to be done.

The ice cracks and pops as I plunge
The post through its armor,
Allowing the water beneath to bleed out.
And I wonder…
I wonder where she is tonight.
What her face might be.

My task complete, I turn for the house.
The path up the hill seems steeper today,
Than it was the day before.
Each day seems longer now,
But quicker in its passing.
My winter closes in on me…and I am tired.

The house is chilled and dark:
Unattended in my absence.
I shiver in my solitude.
And I wonder…
I wonder where she is tonight.
What her warmth might be.

Banked ashes of cooling coals, I bring to life again.
With flickering fingers of hungry heat,
The meal I feed is consumed in haste,
With snapping teeth and crackling lips.
Heat escapes the cast-iron walls,
That house this fiery-feast.

The ticking clock, like a kettle drum,
Hammers at the silence in the room.
The meal I take is cold and plain.
And I wonder…
I wonder where she is tonight.
And what her heart might be.

The sheets are cold against my skin,
As I search for the heat in the blankets.
The pale, clear mist of frozen moonlight,
Casts soft shadows about the room,
As it seeps in through the window.
It will stand guard there all night long,
Giving safe harbor to my dreams.

Sleep, like death, brings forth new life,
As dreams are born again
In the deafening silence around me now.
And I wonder…
I wonder at her tender touch,
So soft and warm beside me.

Copyright © 2007 WML


Kentucky Dreamer said...

It's a beautiful Poem, Mike. One of your best. The imagery, unforgettable.

Fabian G. Franklin said...

Remarkably beautiful and filled with great descriptive imagery, I really enjoyed this. I could see the cows coming to drink after the ice was broken.