young and cold

open windows
to the cold
why do we
wrap ourselves
in layers
bundling ourselves
away
for what
better days?
as children
we were unafraid
to sink pink toes
into snow
to fling ourselves
wide-armed
into winds
that now
make us shiver
just to think
of them
we did not think
in sneezes
or sniffles
but ran
runny-nosed
with the rest
of the red-cheeked
snow-suited troops
open windows
to winter
and thrill
to the chill tickles
of the delight
we once held
in ten-foot forts
and endless piles
of white-balled
ammunition
the sweaters
layered socks
and stupor
of space heaters
will wait
at the back
of the closet
for when we are old
and truly
weary of cold

© Sarah Whiteley

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climbing trees

we are never too old
for trees
for the young delight we find
in climbing them
even now I judge maples
by their ascend-ability
and by the view
through the leaves
straddling long boughs
like leafy-maned mares
we ride through skies
of summer and youth
lean back and look high
let yourself fall
let yourself fly
but above all
climb