Numb with morning low I crawl
into a faded Packers pullover
and wonder Lawry’s or Lehto’s tonight?

Leaning over a hot cuppa steams my
glasses and I lick what’s left of the fudge
crumbs from Sunday’s Mackinac trip.

The mess of last night’s Euchre game
is spread out on the table—damn cheats
is all I can think after losing—

proof of cabin fever, cards and cups
junking up the kitchen we will spend
too much time in, some twisted sitcom.

The Iron Ore tells of Union strikes
and when Season starts, but I cannot
bring myself to care about either.

Another article catches my eye—
Lake Superior Seldom Gives Up Her Dead:
apparently extreme low temperatures
inhibit bacteria that generates the gas
which causes bodies to float

I shiver

and wonder about the men out at
deer camp and if we’ll have venison
sausage in time for Christmas.

The dark of winter morning saps all
motivation, my plan to pop out for
pasties dims and then snuffs out.

Six foot high snow banks bury
any sign of life except the Erikson
kids across the street. Eight or nine

of them overall, their red heads
dotting the sheets of snow like
speckles of blood. They build snow

forts like tiny frosty mausoleums,
as if they know they will never leave
this biting cold, as if they are saying

neither will you.