It is very cold today.
I rise up out of my body
and see the white gooseflesh
on the girl in a nook with a book.
It is very cold up here
without skin. Looking down
at the shivering girl with a book
I feel frozen with a form of pity.
It is a bone-deep cold
but I have risen as a spirit and so
it must be soul-deep cold here
in this room where love is lost.
It is very cold in the heart
of the gooseflesh girl
who hopes the phone will ring
but no sound travels through the ice.
So my daughter Milo and I were talking about stuff as we decorated the living room for the holidays. She took a step back and said, "This is good. It doesn't stress me out thinking about you having to put it all away."
So we stopped at three strands of lights, eight or ten snowmen of various heights, half a dozen sparkling red balls and three gold spangly thingies bought at Pier One last year on sale.
I listen to her today. I don't try to boss her around. I appreciated her adult attitude about simplicity.
We talked about her childhood, about fathers, fears, and whatnot. Nothing of earth-shaking importance. She's turning 24 this week. We made a date to bake cookies. We made a date to have dinner.
I thought, I would fight like a wildcat for that child. Just that fast, I went from mellow to fierce. I washed a few dishes, said goodnight to my husband, played with the kittens. The feeling didn't leave. I would kill a man for my daughter. I would drive all night in the rain if that girl needed me. Thoughts like that.
Where did they come from on this simple Monday evening in December?
Human beings are intriguing. Two women I care about got drunk today. One I know for sure did, because she called me in tears. The other one, I'm hearing different things from her and from someone who saw her today. I don't know. I've been concerned all afternoon.
So I went from zero to sixty in a second. What can I control in my life, with my loved ones? Only my attitude and actions, not their safety, happiness, future.
Can't even control my own heartbeat most of the time.
What this has to do with anything, I don't know.
The cold poem today is about a moment that I remember very clearly. I had been left one more time. I didn't know how I could go on with such a broken heart.
And so, I lived with pain and lived through it, and felt madly protective today, and was powerless. Life as I know it.