Again

Again
in the night, the fire went out.
Devoid of pity, winter
invaded the room,
assaulted my body –
my thin blanket offered little resistance.
Cold chews my knuckles,
gnaws my knees.
The weak sun forces
pale shafts of light,
but no warmth,
through the dirty window.
I faintly see my breath
as I turn my head
to gaze on gray-black ash
within the fireplace.
For a moment, I ponder:
stay put, let go, give up
Then their faces rise before me
laughing, loving faces,
gone forever yet
somehow with me always.
And for their sake,
and perhaps for my own,
I stretch my painful limbs
and force myself from the bed
to shuffle stiffly across the floor,
light the fire,
begin another day,
again.

3 December 2012
SW 208
MDW – SDF

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