A strong breeze shudders the cedar trees
along the western edge of the space
between garage and barn.
In the howling chillness of the night,
a thin skin of ice formed
un-smoothly on the surface
of the rainwater tub.
I marvel as when a boy
at how the wind can send its markings
toying with the face of a pond or a puddle,
or even an ocean.
I trace my fingers across the ripples
frozen on the surface,
reflect upon the wear of the week:
the Boston bombing,
the West, Texas explosion,
one friend’s two daughters maimed
and another’s untimely self-pity over trivia.
In moments of unthawing response
we show life’s listings upon our own spirits
but it is in the decided reactions
that we determine whether or not–
they will define us.