Phillip Carmichael

Bitter Cold

Frigid misery,
grumpy and grumbling
all the way to frozen train tracks,

my blistered heels eroding further
in stiff boots, the flesh below ankle
scraping off to reveal the tender circle
of red-raw reality, blood rising to the surface
of skin, eagerly awaiting puncture, an opening
of the floodgates.

Trudging along to begin the workweek
with stinging sores, the skies withholding sunshine,
another grey morning devoid of substance,
(nothing left to gain, nothing left
to glorify)

January’s conflicting resolutions failing
to satiate the need for progress,
thousands of varying voices
echoing within the cranium,
indicating what needs to be
done, what ought to be
done.

Each step brings with it a wince and
worry, the expectation of sticky scabs
and bloody socks.

(The wind chill freezes cheeks,
numbing rosy noses and stifling all sound.)

The entirety of my aspirations
have convened in this moment,

and the train hasn’t even come yet.

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