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Dan Speers

Citizen Poet
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              So Very Cold Outside


They came and took the dog away today

            and they’re going to put it to sleep

            because it barked, they say.

A lady dropped a dime in the checkout line

            and no one stooped to pick it up.

            She shrugged and said, “It’s just a dime.”

An old man on the bench in the park watched a kid run about,

            tossing peanuts to the pigeons. The old man grinned

            and waved and nodded and someone called the cops to check him out.


Some teens made a giggling trip to the mall

            during the day, a school day, to shop for jeans.

            In the food court they had burgers and a malt.

A woman in a minivan hurried into the grocery lot.

            She never gave it a thought as she parked,

            ignoring the sign for the handicapped spot.

An elderly lady sat in the library with a permanent pout,

            not reading her book. She fell asleep and passed away

            and for a day, a very long day, no one came to check her out.


They came and took the dog away today.

            The veggie stand sold the last of the corn.

            Winter came and took the leaves away.

Somewhere, someone was popping popcorn,

            the smell hanging in the air like bacon frying

            and in the hospital, another baby was born.

On the news they said an icy patch ended the lives and ride

            of this drunken man and the girl whose car he hit.

            We lit a fire today. It was cold, so very cold. Outside.

                                                                       --Copyright 2006, Daniel E Speers



            So Very Cold Outside first published in Margie,

                          The American Journal of Poetry, vol. 5

                                                                  Finalist, 2006