A Cold Morning
by Theodora Goss
It was the sort of morning
when cold got into my bones.
Outside, the snow would not melt
until March, probably. It lay
on the porch like a thin layer of frosting
topped with powdered sugar
along the arms of the blue chair
and matching bench, dusting
the roof of the bird feeder.
It outlined every branch
of the hawthorn that had once
hidden the parking lot
of the neighboring house,
but was bare now.
As I felt bare, like a landscape
of whites and grays and browns
with streams running through me,
covered with panes of ice
through which you could see water
moving, if you looked closely.
I would not melt either,
I thought, until
the days grew longer,
the sun shone with some warmth
(this pale, cold disk in the sky
must be her widowed sister)
or until, somehow, you returned
to thaw me
with your hands, your breath.
Not until then.
(The image is The Magpie by Claude Monet.)
I often describe our cloudy damp days here as “seeping deep into my bones.” And Monet’s painting is one of my very favorites, his perfect capturing of Winter’s pale light! I saw the original at the Kimbell a few years ago. Pictures don’t do the original justice. Your poem is lovely, my favorite words describing the winter sun as the “pale, cold disk in the sky” being “her widowed sister.” Beautiful.
This poem and your choice of art makes me happy. I once gave a Christmas card with this very picture to someone I love very dearly…
This is so evocative of my days up North, when I was younger. You captured the scene perfectly, Dora.