If Cold Is a War
By Ann K. Schwader
14 May 2007
If cold is a war, it was forced upon us
By foreign powers or falling stars,
By climate crash or a terror weapon,
By ignorance of a mayfly's ending.
Our earth & seas & sky are one
Vast absence: vision dimmed to snow-blind,
Clocks & calendars featureless.
If cold is a war, it is always.
If cold is a war, it has mustered weapons
Past defense: no keep, no bunker
Warms itself without resources
Sacrificed to other crises.
We make our stands by hearths on which
Our oldest ally starves & sputters,
Leaving us little but bitter ashes.
If cold is a war, we are losing.
If cold is a war, there can be no quarter
Asked or given from forces older
Than any motive we understood,
Than any tactic we thought perfected.
Retreat is a dream of stardrives shattered,
Of cities crystalline & silent,
Of people dying in drifts like cattle.
If cold is a war, we are taken.