Lungs crackle with ice

And hot coffee slides

Down muffled throats


Smoke swirls from cigarettes

And shivering hands

Seek solace in pockets


Battered boots beat

Solemn streets

Under cold wind

Crushing down


Legs and lips

Burn whisky-warm

As fierce fire gives way

To an incandescent ache


Exposed ears

And naked noses

Are ablush with winter


There is a weak glow of amber

From snowglobes on iron posts

And a robin flashes ruby

Through snow-laden skies


Leaves push

Through icy soil;

A glimpse of spring.