Friday night we had our first winter storm warning of the year for Milwaukee. The storm was less than expected. But after shoveling Friday night at the winter-time Cold Weather ministry where I help, we were watching the snow fall from the warmth of the parlor, and I was thinking of folks missing this weekend.
On Our First Winter Night, Near Winter-End
Snow wrapped warm around the trees just outside,
it does look cold away from our high communal window.
Where are those who walked away this week,
Who breached our earthly covenant, past weeks and now?
Where does John sleep tonight?
Who holds him, inside somewhere, alone or embracing another one, eyes wide open or shut?
Trapped, is he at once a Trapper tonight?
John’s gentle voice soothes me still,
Gone months ago, some of him still cocooned in me.
Plow blades thunder on the black abyss away from the blinds-barred window by me.
Almost at once, the midnight orb around me is silent,
Hushed in shallow snores; no snorts or gasps puncture this night.
Wrapped in our fellowship blanket, it looks cold out there.
My eyes burn and haze some as I wonder about Maandella.
In shallow breath, I pray for that little one.
Open as much as I can be open, I invite the Holy One in.
But my mind moves some to Maandella.
God-of-grace, where is she tonight?
Is she broken, beaten, in some stupor? Where is she?
How have I been blessed to be blessed and be here?
Bless Maandella. Aware and asleep, innocent,
Maandella is blessed. Let her live.
Bless Maandella, and fill her with joy.
Will she know it?
Bless Maandella this snowy night.
Naomi left weeks ago. Sent away? Bolted away?
I turn my mind away from her, angry.
I am angry.
Some caustic acid, with properties I barely know, burned off the love that gilded her here.
I almost break some throbbing blood vessel.
And I relent: Where is she tonight?
Bless Naomi through this caustic snowy night.
Bless her with joy and purity. Give her hope.
The love that she flushed away with a cold, hard bottle,
Give love to Naomi again. Let her know love.
Bless her man, in from the cold, alone now,
Bless him, alone, here in this warm community,
Not quite whole tonight.
c Thomas Bolton, March 2, 2012