It doesn’t take much wind
to put an ache in your hands
when the temperature lands
in the area of minus double-digits:
the few minutes it takes for feeding the horse
is enough this morning.
Ice and frost cover the gelding’s nose and flank
as he comes to the fence and follows me
to the heavy-planked shed.
He stands, head inside
and butt toward the sun,
crunching sweet feed and beet pulp
while I refill the heated water trough.
Spikes and spears of frost fringe the edge
of unfrozen water,
a two-inch border marking the meeting
of retreating water line
and this deep cold.
Four flakes of alfalfa hay
wait in the stall for the horse’s finishing of feed.
I walk back, north to the house,
glad for warm walls and the smell of biscuits
cooking in the oven.