Size / / /

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.

Ann K. Schwader lives, writes, and volunteers at her local branch library in Westminster, CO. Her most recent poetry collection is Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press 2011). Her dark SF poetry collection Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam's Dot Publishing, 2010) was a Bram Stoker Award nominee. She is a member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA. Her LiveJournal is Yaddith Times.
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