Cold Toes

Carol Cross

The furnace has kicked on,
its reassuring purr
rumbles beneath floorboards. 4am,
quiet time for insomniacs and snowflakes.

I am awake; no one else is.

I hear heavy breathing at my side,
no noise from the two rooms down the hall.
It's just me, the furnace and the dark.
I wonder if there is new snow.

I want to get out of bed,
to peer out the window. But I don't.
Even through drawn shades
I see the glow outside.
I know it has to be new snow
reflecting light from street lamps.

Instead, I snuggle close to the man at my side,
warming my toes, hoping not to wake him
but wishing he were awake.

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The 2River View, 1_2 (Winter 1997)