Today there’s a polar vortex; I remember
when the only thing to fear was a bee sting
or the pain of peeling skin from too much sun.
Today it’s frozen corneas and confusing
cable news. Sure, I can turn it off, turn up
the heat, pretend outside is balmy, 80 degrees
in the shade. I could refuse to look outside;
I could refuse to acknowledge the double
amputee on the corner surrounded
by grocery store recycled bags. I could ignore
the clunk of coins and his barely gloved hands
in 19 degree weather. I could pretend
that my body is my own, that my skin is protective,
that my home is a true haven shielded by HOA.
I could dream of spring cherry blossom
barriers protecting me from frost to a growing
swarm. Instead, I wonder is it okay to be surrounded
by wanted things? Is it okay to dream of warmer days,
to imagine soles of shoes kissing petals carpeting sidewalks,
to imagine warm wind willing eyes to close? Is it okay
to wish old fears would bloom like seasonal bulbs?