There is a cold you cannot shake –
caught in the air and imprisoned
in the wood of the bedroom floor.
It spreads across its iron chains
till it freezes your lungs
and your feet lose all their feeling.
There is a cold you cannot shake
even after you come inside
shedding the frozen air like a coat.
It abides in your chest
and freezes your lips when you cough.
We are the frozen people,
caught with a cold that lingers
even in the heat of summer
our toes and tongue ache for the warmth
to move with a freedom long lost.
But there is still warmth in some things –
lingering in a loaf of bread
or over a glass of wine
with conversation at dinner,
but the ice remains to our core.
Warmed for a passing moment,
but aching still for a great thaw,
for the warmth of blankets and stoves,
the thawing of lips and feet –
longing for the coming of a flame.