For once this winter, snow was followed by
A warm and sunny day, the mercury
Above the freezing line. More to the point:
Above the line which brings the long-for thaw.
The morn, however, shivers. Once again
The dancing molecules of water halt
And stand, prescisely rigid, in thin sheets
Upon each surface where the liquid ran.
The gentle breeze which barely moved a twig
Howls once again, and my mind echoes its
Deep moan. It’s tempting, and though it is Lent,
I succumb to temptation to assign
A metaphor of meaning, observing
The way free flow of feeling freezes hard,
A human peril of relationships
As treacherous as ice invisible
Upon the streets and sidewalks. I will drive
Wih special care today. But will I speak
With friends and colleagues with as much or more
Thought and diplomacy as I accord
To icy surfaces, or will I breathe
A wind as cold and merciless as that
Which howls now beyond the windowpane?
Cold metaphor! A sound reminder still.
Though I could turn the image on its head:
For is not water’s formlessness just like
The fickleness of promises unkept,
And should I not give praise to ice and its
Incomparable beauty? I will let
Both metaphors inform, and from them bring
A warmth of spirit for the people I
Encounter, and a pledge to keep my vows.