Brain Freeze


Brain Freeze

It is negative nine.
Minus nine.
below zero. 

Or maybe ten–this,
on the thermometer, whose little lines
are too fine
for my sure read–

but determine to go out–
feel, then, negative
nearly ten–hike
some wool long underwear under
my flannel night gown, channel arms into
deep down coat,
tie fur hat below chin, zip
myself in–

The white world is unimpressed
by my quick bulk.
Where nightgown opens (under cover of downed neck)
feels naked as the half moon that hovers
at the trees’ bared heads
(the trees’ bared limbs, that is,
trees not having heads,
except for broccolis, which aren’t
true trees.)

Eyes slip over
the ellipses of a hare
who was apparently just there, at least
his paws were,
pause upon the ice,
glasses also


Here’s a little ditty from one of the warmer days we’ve had in that there was no significant wind chill–the last few days have actually been very difficult to go out in without proper gear–I have even at moments taken to wearing goggles over my glasses (which I hate) to try to protect eye fluids from freezing.  (It was supposedly negative 40 the day before yesterday and yesterday morning. This is Farenheit.  I do not know how they calculate wind chill, but it was certainly cold.)

Posting for Real Toads Tuesday Open Forum. 


Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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16 Comments on “Brain Freeze”

  1. Polly Says:

    Aw…wow…I can’t imagine those temperatures! Keep warm K. 🙂

  2. brian miller Says:

    yikes…its brutal out there….we are in the 20s today…but -8 on Thursday as the polar vortex pushes its way down to us…its dangerous….but i know i gotta escape at some point…i get stir crazy in the house….ha

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    The poem is charming, k, even if the conditions it describes are far from it–I too know that feeling of being naked under your clothes when the wind hits–one might as well be, one feels. I do think we need sometimes to face the elements–if only to feel alive, and appreciate the comfort we have.

  4. brrrr… I was outside videotaping a message for my friend’s 50th birthday this morning, she lives in Berkeley CA… I made a point of letting her know it was 9 in NH where I live… but -9… oh yes we have days like that too. I’m glad you got outside.. it takes a lot of layers and courage on these wintery mornings.

  5. Such cold weather.. And it’s Fahrenheit too .. That’s scarily cold. So long since I expereinced really cold weather – here it’s almost too warm by being above above zero Celsius.

  6. Beautiful… and cold! 🙂 Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  7. Marian Says:

    Argh, I awoke to fresh white this morning. It gets old. But, we are warming a bit, and spring really will come. It will!

  8. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I admire your tenacity in going out in the sub-zero temps. I think I would be more inclined to hibernate.

  9. mhwarren Says:

    Good for you for braving the elements and experiencing nature, but it sounds daunting!

  10. Susan Chast Says:

    I enjoy this because f your richly detailed description and encounters along the way. I feel cold, bundled, naked.

  11. M Says:

    um, holy hell, Karin. the C and F scales cross at -40, it turns out. whew ~

  12. Susmit Says:

    I messed up my C’s and F’s…Let your heart welcome the jolt of warmth that I send in from here. Warm warm wishes!!!

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