Frostbite

Her bare hands grasp the warm mug,
and redden and crack as
the relentless winter wind whips
the moisture away.

She endures the pain.

Every few steps
she peels one hand off of the mug
to shovel in a bite of the oatmeal,
each spoonful colder than the next.

The mug is still warm,
she whispers,
as lukewarm,
cool,
cold,
become synonyms for warmth.

She stands in the wind
holding her cup,
never setting it down
for fear of frostbite.

But the red fades to blue
And still she stands,
enduring the pain.

K

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