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Josie’s Coat

a free verse poem

Image credit: Pixabay License


Josie’s Coat

Bitter cold. Biting cold.  We, on the eve of a winter storm,
the kind that coats the wiring in ice and breaks the power grid,
sprinkling lawns and rooftops with broken limbs,

until we shudder inside our homes, with a cold can of Beenie Weenies
and a spork and lament over the lack of internet and microwaves.
We worry over the pipes and the toilet, converse on stoops,
ice-laced and crusted with salt, surmise over the condition of roads.

We await the ice. We walk, outside, I on one end of the leash,
she on the other. 
The cold sweeps through my sweater,
icing my patience with Josie; she sniffs asphalt,
speed bump, blades of grass, cigarette butts,
a hamburger wrapper, one car bumper
and tire after another. Josie startles at the passing
of a car or a cat; alert she sniffs the air.

My sighs are mere shivers as I wish
upon wish that she would just hurry.
The stars hide behind clouds of ice.
I close my eyes to the cold and hope 
when morning we wake, this will all
be cloaked in white. 

The salt crackles underfoot as Josie takes the stairs,

quicker than I; she pauses to wait for me. 
The cold steals my breath and steels my fingers
and I grapple, stiff-fingered, with the keys.

Josie rolls on the carpeted floor, then pitter-patters
toward the bedroom. She cocks her head at me,
taps both feet and circles, motions for me to follow.

It’s bedtime. Quiet time. Sleep time.
Time to sleep, cozy sleep, together, sleep,
two-peas-in-a-pod sleep
– while the white-ice clouds stir up winds outside.

I climb beneath the layers of blankets.
Josie gets under the top few blankets
wriggles her way to the spot nearest me, 

and plops herself – thump – against my leg. 
I picture her in the bright red puffy coat,

her stiff waddle, and the zoomie-circles 
when leash and coat release. It brings me a smile.

The wind whirs through the wall of our room,
wide glass doors, too thin, hardly keeping safety in
and everything else out, but I leave the blinds
pulled wide, just for tonight.
I want to wake and see the snow.


Josie is half chihuahua and half Yorkie, making her a Chorkie. She’s 10 years old. And I have the honor of being Josie’s person. 

Tonight, our walk outside was bitterly, miserably cold. A winter storm is coming in overnight tonight, not something we have happen here too often. Maybe a couple of times a year. Likely most of this area will be without power tomorrow as all the sleet freezes over. It’s got my nerves on edge and Josie is so ready for me to just come to bed, read my book, and lift the top blanket the way that I do so she can slip underneath and curl up next to me. She’ll snore while I read and try to put the worries out of my mind.  

Being near me brings her great joy. Her joy spills over to me. Every day.

She’s a brave girl until it rains or snows – she won’t want to go outside tomorrow because everything will be wet or white. So, I’ll put her thick winter coat on her that she hates and brave the cold (which I hate) to take her walks with her. I am hoping for snow instead of ice tonight!

Here are a few pictures of Josie if you would like to see my precious girl.

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