Icy Bird Bath

There are places where it’s rarely cold,
or, at least, not the cold we know.
And, of course there are places much colder.
But the cold that is ours
is the cold that this eco-system
has adapted to.
We need our cold.
For a couple of years now
we haven’t really had a “normal”
winter season,
with strings of cold days.
We have strings of warm days
and then some really cold days.
It feels good, now,
to have a couple of days of cold.
It was 16 degrees at 8 this morning.
And sunny.
On this day it feels good
to do the chores of winter.
Ice in animals’ buckets to break;
fresh water to carry.
Sick chicken to bring in the house
for warmth.
Birdseed to scatter.
I found myself eager
to walk to the road for the mail,
gather kindling,
to find things to do outside
that kept me warm
even in the breeze from the north.
I looked up from my tasks
to gasp at a sky
perfectly clear,
heart-ache blue.
Some days—when warm
has overstayed its welcome—
is the welcome gift.
I bet I will be able to see a jillion
in that clear sky