It is not the snow or the cold,
not even the wind or the ice.
Nor is it the darkness of daybreak
or indigo evenings.
It isn't the smell of exhaust or
how it blackens the snow,
like an insult.
It is not the lost glove,
or the cold wet sock,
when your foot lands too deep
in a hollowing snow bank.
It isn't chapped lips, cracked fingers
or skin that begs to be scratched.
It is not losing your keys in a darkened
white void. It's not even the fear
of slipping on ice, breaking your
leg or wrecking your car.
It isn't the stillness, or having
to slow down your life.
The trouble with winter is knowing
the homeless roam freezing at night
as you pull up your blankets and
whisper your prayers.