Almost Thaw

She waves to the engineer
as an abbreviated freight train passes by—

heading southwest. She’s running
northeast now on snow

and slush. Could be quicksand
in spots, could be something

to complain about. But
she’s already said “hi”

to a XC skier and a couple
of women with dogs. Already made it this far

nearing the north end
of Lake of the Isles

without getting frostbitten
or falling down. May as well lean

in and call it
January bliss.

Heavy Metal Detox

These are not

tears. A wind
chill emotion erupts

without warning. Who
leaves their dog

outside a café
on a day like today?

Two-inch thick
ice will last

longer than many

As I peel
on and off

layers of peace,
another January

gets sealed
shut. Another recipe

scrolls down
the side of a wall

outside a venue
that sells

no food. And these words
will not

be sung indoors.