chilled to the bone

by Elouise

chilled to the bone
night’s deep silence descends
winter drifts through cracks


Disconnected from feelings
Numb and disbelieving
I want to write
So many unknowns
So much at stake
So little time left
Will I or Won’t I?
Sooner or Later?
Is Never still an option?

This week brought unwelcome news in a couple of areas. No catastrophic accidents. Just the knowledge of things I didn’t want to hear. About a friend and about my health.

Yesterday we drove through Valley Forge National Historic Park. Outdoor temperatures were subfreezing. Snow was on the ground, covering a thin layer of frozen sleet. We saw one brave soul walking his beautiful dog along one of the paths that circle and cut through Valley Forge. Everyone else was in a heated four-wheel vehicle driving through the Park.

I didn’t write the haiku above after that drive. But it captures some of the angst and foreboding perhaps encoded in the few remaining buildings and cabins still standing here and there throughout the Park. Remnants of a winter nightmare followed by springtime diseases that took more lives than winter took.

They thought they would be going home to their families and friends.

foot paths meander
through fields of wartime sorrow —
home to the fallen

I want to find my way home. Don’t you? Life is filled with breathtaking beauty. The kind that makes leaving it breathtakingly painful. Right now I’m being invited to play life in a different key. And my cold fingers are stumbling around a bit, learning to be at home in what doesn’t always feel like home.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 January 2018
Photo of cabins at Valley Forge found at