It is the heart of winter.
The snow is falling but the grass is green.
My heart has been ailing.
I have come down with a bad case of the aches.

I am afraid to show her this congestion.
Afraid to be seen in this state,
coughing up my insecurities, sniffling,
afraid I’ll sneeze and spray her with something disgusting.
My hair is a bird’s nest, untameable.
My voice is hesitant and rusty.
I am weak. I am recovering.

I sip her poetry, her letters, like a tonic.
They are Alka-Seltzer fizzing in my chest.
I can see sunshine when I close my eyes.
My breath comes easier now.

Climb out of bed, heart. It’s a new day.
You can hear the birds in the backyard singing.
The sun’s peering in the window
and she’s smiling at you.
Throw back the covers, heart.
You are not too sick to go outside
and a little fresh air would do you good.

The snow is falling, but the grass is green.
The world is cold, but the birds still sing.

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