for the poetry files


It’s been cold since you left –
drawing into my bones,
implacable as glaciers.

I huddle in layers of fleece and down
clinging to each departing joule
as a miser to his dollars

And yet the thermometer
speaks merely of slight chill.
Come back before I freeze?

warming up

the room was freezing.
we took off only our shoes,
then dived beneath the covers
with our defenses against the cold
barricading us from each other

nothing free to touch
but hands and lips. we kissed,
squealed when frosted fingers
brushed warm cheek.
tucked hands beneath us
to defrost.
Then, warmed and bolder,
slid them under clothes
along protected skin,
which, so long hidden by layers,
bloomed and sighed to touch.

beyond the bed,
the room was no warmer. within it
the cold had no sway.
We made ourselves naked
beneath the blankets.
skin touched skin
as we curled and slid together,
generating our own heat,
giggling when a shot of cold air
found us around the blanket’s edge.

We conquered the cold.

Later, we lay there,
too warm and sleepy to dress,
arms draped over the covers,

(Note: Rudder comes home today after nearly two weeks away – of course, just as the weather is set to warm up.)

And something completely different:

“The more things change — “

“Your niece is in love with a C’Inthy’c!”
My brother called me for advice,
“Just the thought of that thing even touching
my child turns my bones into ice.

“I’m not like our grandma. I’d smile
on a human of any persuasion.
I’d approve if she brought home a girlfriend,
Or an African boyfriend, or Asian.

“Since aliens came to our planet –
I’ve taught all my kids not to fuss
about someone’s outside appearance.
On the inside, I said, they’re like us.

“I never once meant she should marry
a- a person from some other star
I don’t mind a casual friendship
But this takes it all much too far!”

I told him the same thing that Grandpa
Told Grandma, long decades ago.
When Uncle Ignatius brought her
A new daughter-in-law, Lee Chun-Lo.

“I think that you just have to trust her.
You’ve raised her the best you could do,
And taught her to make the right choices.
……Just hope the grandchildren aren’t blue.”

Second note: a couple people very kindly urged me to submit this to Analog. Honestly, I just don’t think it’s good enough – too hokey. However, they did inspire me to submit something else, that I haven’t shared anywhere, to Goblin Fruit. Might do that with the current thing-in-work, too, if it comes out well though at the moment it’s being recalcitrant.

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