Cloud, Backlit

by Jack Myers

6 a.m. March.  Snow flurries.
I’m stepping into the Atlantic,
gulping fast, get ready breaths
so I can swim furiously, numb
and red all over, to get out to my boat.

I practice my Zen training
which says if I utterly give in
to the cold, I won’t feel how cold it is.

At dusk, I see a cloud backlit
so brilliantly it looks black
while the earth’s atmosphere bathes it
in a perfume of pastel sherbet colors.

If my better half were here,
I would take this in without feeling
the need to tell about it
and making it all about myself.

This is the work I have to do, I tell myself.
Go ahead, I say, swim in it.
Force yourself if you have to.