Poetry: Winter Morning Life

No one around, pre-dawn, below zero.

It's January. Air thick and still. Fire face

down in the coals. Dog barks frozen in their jaws.

Everything's stopped. I have to ask myself

"Am I breathing?"

So maybe I died. Maybe the stars are dead scarab

beetles stuck to the wall of darkness. Maybe

the pale trees are ghosts, the ghosts of everything

but trees. Maybe I don't move through these rooms

at all. They move through me.

Is this what death is? Eternally asking myself

am I dead? No birds fly. No leaves rustle. Nothing

moves on the street below. There's just these

inquiries of myself. There's just this long, dark

echo of a question.

Is this cryonics? Did I pay good money

to have my body frozen in liquid nitrogen for

one hundred and fifty years? Is winter time

always one hundred and fifty years later

and nothing's changed.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.