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The Coldest Day of the Hottest Year

It is the coldest day

Of the hottest year.

I should feel relief, reprieve,

A breath of fresh air.

But instead I shiver and my breathing is shallow.


My breath moves like the pale clouds,

Against the black and blue sky.

The branches are heavy under the weight

Of the ice and snow, growing by the minute.

They bend, but do not break.

At least not yet.


The frozen earth cracks beneath my feet,

Each step shattering the surrounding silence.

The imprint I leave is a trail,

A memory, a record.

That I was here in this moment.

Until it melts and is washed away.

By Michael McPhie


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