It owns everything it touches.
The strongest tree, the weakest man,
Shivers in its clutches.
The icy breath of frozen winds,
Turn your head around.
Frozen fingers grip your soul,
That screams without a sound.
Rushing rivers wide and deep,
Lay silent and still,
In frozen sleep.
Hidden currents slowly creep,
With secret dreams,
That they must keep.
Oh, how my fractured spirit aches,
For peaceful sleep,
For numbness sake.
But sleep right now is death for certain.
Best stay awake,
And feel the hurtin’.
The things that most make you feel your life,
Are the ones that can take it from you.
* * * * *
The temperature finally got down into the single digits here last night, I guess winter has arrived at last. To bolster my spirits and make things seem not so bad, I thought back to a time that I was the coldest that I have ever been in my life.
Early January 1990 found me in the Republic of Korea on a field training exercise. We stayed in the field for approximately 45 days. The average daytime temperature was around 10F and at night it got cold. Don’t forget the wind that was our constant companion. All and all, with the wind chill factored in, it stayed well below zero for almost the whole period. I started shivering about 2 hours out the first day and never stopped until after we had been back in garrison for a day or two. Recalling that experience prompted the poem above.
Sitting in this warm house, wearing warm clothes and eating hot chow makes this little cold snap now seem bearable in light of some of the places I have been cold before. As I reflect back on the trials I have faced, I think of the ones our troops in the field are facing at this very moment. I wish them my heartfelt best and a speedy, safe trip home.
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