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.


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