Excerpt from Winter Poem by January O’Neil

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This poem appears in our February 2016 Digital Issue. The entire issue is available for download.

When I passed
a parking lot and spotted
the words

SO COLD

written on the back windshield
of a blue Jetta, I wanted to write
in the language of
all warm things.

The window, lightly frosted
with a thin layer of night snow,

letters not etched but carved
down to the clear, to the hairline
orange defroster lines separating
hemisphere after hemisphere
by a matter of degrees.

January O'NeilJANUARY O’NEIL is the author of Misery Islands, winner of a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, and Underlife, both published by CavanKerry Press. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, an assistant professor of English at Salem State University, and Northeast Regional Chair and board of trustees member for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).