My Cold Footsteps Speak, a poem by Will Marwitz

My Cold Footsteps Speak

by Will Marwitz
from his book “Turning the Cup.”

I have world-of-work to enjoin

As I awaken from my alarm and body clock jarring my head.

Oh, to stay in bed!

No, I must tug into layers of cloth,

Shove white feet into hide-bound boots.

Outside, my cold footsteps speak while crunching into snow,

Breath crystallizes into foggy glow

As sewer exhales white vapors from tunnel belly below.

My black frost-sheeted car sleeps along billowy white curb

Like a bear burrowed into raw protecting cave hide.

Grasping steering wheel, I insert key to avoid plodding

To my coffee hole and conversation and breakfast laughter.

My engine snorts in irritation, grumbling, rumbling,

Separating from his dream-filled hibernation.

Again, I turn brassy-cold key;

Engine releases a disgruntled snort.

About to let this critter expire,

I turn my hopeless key one more time – A spark, a fire!

Old Black rolls over in awkward protest,

Agrees and surrenders to sunrise and me

As we lumber toward morning café steaming with fried eggs, toast and Joe.

Some regulars brag, others complain – fifty below.

I only know the cold of this ring-spun surly son of a sun-dog day.

It’s here, by ovens and griddles I want to stay.

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