WHEN FROZEN AND ALL ALONE -
WHO OR WHAT IS ALL AROUND YOU?
Poem for October 11, 2014
Outside the igloo he waited
for an invitation to come inside.
There was no knocker, no doorbell.
He coughed, there was no reply.
He crouched down and peered in.
He felt the warm air from a fire
pat his cheeks and ruffle his hair.
Hello he said quietly and repeated it.
The frost in his toes urged him in,
so did the pain in his gut. His knees
one by one welcomed the snow
and brought him into the warmth.
He stood up and breathed deeply.
He held a foot up to the flames
then swapped it for the other foot.
He lay down on the polar bear rug
but a smell yanked him upright again
and led him to a dresser of bone
where a bowl sat with a cover on it.
He lifted this to reveal dried meat.
He grabbed a chunk and tore at it
with his teeth. It was reindeer.
He devoured all that was in the bowl
and went looking for some more.
He found none, but there was a bottle
of firewater which he swigged.
He swigged again and left it down.
He lay on the bearskin and fell asleep.
© Matthew Sweeney, Poetry Magazine – April 2014