February Laughs at Us


February laughs at us -
poor mammals,
shivering in our borrowed skins.
The month finds fun
in wrapping us in frozen air
like galvanized iron.

There is little else for February to do
except fling icy shards of wintry bite
at us with jaggedly fresh winds.
Hard pack ice makes footfalls dangerous,
giving the second month a belly laugh
when we fall on our ass.

We run around, afraid of cabin fever,
thinking of other kinds of warmth,
shrugging our shoulders with tired indifference
as we wonder at the blue of the sky,
the gray-white of the ground,
and the ruddy smile of yet another attempt to get warm.

And we sing, oh, how we sing,
trying once more
to brave February’s guile,
each note that escapes us
a patch of white hope
in the frosty air.

©2009, 2016 Christopher Reilley

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