I never knew
By Mary O.R. Paddock

I never knew

how much I hated the cold

until it crept through

the blanketed depths of our bed

where I lay sleepless.

My breath dusted the air,

evaporating by the wide glow of the moon

which whitened the floorboards of our room.

Did I ever tell you how I felt

about shredding my Christmas tea towels

to fill gaps around the windows?

Those mistletoe prints that stopped drafts

from chafing our children’s faces

while they slept by the wood-stove?

I don’t think so.

So many times I woke up

already tired of morning.

Bound in thermal socks and long-johns

I slide-stepped down the stairs

to divine heat from a few pieces of wet cedar.

How I dreaded treks into the kitchen to pour coffee,

spilling creamer off the edge of the spoon

in my shivered hurry.

But the real measure of my hate had to be

how close I came to leaving you.

How easily those heated words slipped through

my chattering teeth and into the cold between us.



I consider myself fortunate to live in the Ozark Mountains of Southwest Missouri with a husband and four boys. We are a busy homeschooling family and I am active in the local Methodist Church. In my spare time I speed walk, play guitar, garden and am presently revising my first effort at a book. Four dogs and six cats very graciously share their home with us.


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