December 16th

Another white winter sweeps into the town,
and inside a young man sleeps soundly in the comfort of his cozy home,
bright Christmas lights strung up over the windowsills,
“I wonder how it feels?” An old man whispers, wandering the street.
His sole’s been worn down to bare skin, weathered leather letting the chill of the elements in to touch his numb feet.

Little kids play with tiny kittens, scraps of wrapping paper littering the living room floor,
Innocent and naïve of the cold, cruel world that exists just outside their hickory front door.
The old man sits on the stoop of the Episcopal Church, praying for a moment of warmth.
“I’d sell my soul to rest these brittle bones by the blazing fire of a hearth.”

In the parking lot across the road, a teenage couple exchanges body heat in the backseat,
Forgetting the world and any fear of death, focused on nothing but the sighs between each stolen breath,
And up the steps the old man’s scratching at the large wooden doors,
Trails of ice frozen to bloodshot cheeks, fingers bleeding as he tries to claw his way through to salvation.

The next morning the young man grabs his cup of coffee and heads to work without a worry,
The children are curled up with their kittens in small nests fashioned from blankets,
The teenage lovers are holding hands as they walk to school, losing themselves in last night's lust,
And outside the Episcopal Church doors, the old man lies, lifeless eyes open wide to the world.
I wonder how it feels.





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