dead of winter – poem

dead of winter

the most january day
i have ever seen
stiffened over me in the grey
of afternoon, thick
as old mittens stitched
together, and i was nothing

but a slow pulse
beneath the floe
of an impenetrable heaven,
and every hope was a god
out icefishing, his lure
descending from a thin cylinder
of light, and the sky

grew cloudy
with the breath of old souls
who took the bait,
their grave faces pressed
against the icy underbelly
of the most january day
i have ever seen