On the Cold Side of Things by Grey Held

The five months post-October – when warmth goes
prodigal and cold wind sews the seams of my overcoat
and cold wind finds places to sigh and whine
through my bedroom windows’ seams —
I didn’t used to mind them. In fact
I used to love the rain-freeze that makes cities glisten,
and the perfect white columns of factory
smoke eking into brilliant ether, and the intricate
naked shadows of branches networked and projected
onto sunstruck walls. I used to love the red
shock of holly berries on days defined by white.
I used to be OK with my car submerged above its grillwork,
my fence upended by drifts of bristled snow,
the fragile daggers of stalactites slung from blustered gutters.
I have seen a fallen stalk of sunflower withered to pith.
I have seen the inert kernel of a tree frog,
arms and legs tucked tight to its body, not dead, just
its remarkable heartbeat released for the season.
Today, zero has broken my thermometer
and filled me with resignation, bereavement,
and hell-if-I-know. Wasn’t I once the child skating
the snow crust, my red sled begging the surface for slide?

Grey Held
greyheld-photo1_optGrey Held has spent 25 years in the corporate world, managing and mentoring teams and coordinating projects. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing. He has two books of poems, Two-Star General (published by Brick Road Poetry Press in 2012) and Spilled Milk (published by WordTech Communications in 2013).