an ice storm
that used to be
a blizzard 25 years ago

walk like a penguin
in freezing rain
while there are penguins left to mimic

what if they did flap their wings
hard enough out of water
to make them wings again

what if they could fly away
from their fate
and we slid into it instead

Minnesota should not be
above freezing
this time of year

I must risk walking outside
or risk succumbing
to the caged animal deep inside

the walls have grown so quiet
we all deserve to die
in our sleep

don’t we
what am I so afraid of

this soft spot for the cardinal
as it carves its blood red initials
into December’s slate sky

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