Cold poetry II`

A Poem by Doc Russia:

Obviously, being up north is playing with his brain, because he's taken to composing poems about the snow. Actually, the whole piece is almost a poem. I would say it's the first piece in a long time that is "classic" Doc Russia, the sort of thing he used to write before the last year of med school and the first year of his new residency drained away his time.

It's a good piece, in other words.

I have my own memories of the cold and the snow, also from mountain living. It was the winter of 2002-3 that was coldest for us. We lived on a mountain above thirty-three hundred feet, so that it froze in early November and never warmed above freezing, day or night, until sometime in March. There were no roads in or out of the place except private dirt tracks, which were impassable even with a 4x4 when there was any kind of snow. My "neighbor," a park ranger, would join me in painstakingly shoveling off each snowfall the whole long way back, over the ridge and to the switchbacks on the sunny side.

While it was still snowing, it was necessary to hike in and out, two miles over the ridge, to the closest state highway. We'd park over there and hike in. My wife had a new child at the time, and so she was not particularly mobile. I'd have to carry food for them in with my backpack, fifty pounds of flour and canned goods.

Happiest time of my life. No kidding.

The clouds would pass right there over the mountains, and the mists that make up the clouds would freeze to whatever it touched. In the mornings, as the sun rose and I was hiking out for work, every single thing would be covered in a sheet of ice, like in a fairy story where some warlock or evil Queen had cast a spell of doom. It was cold enough that you knew if you slipped and broke your ankle or something similar, you would probably die before anyone found you.

I also wrote a poem that mentioned all that, once, to commemorate the greatest sadness of my life so far. Never mind what it was; think of your own greatest sorrow, and you will understand what I meant.

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