Suddenly, it’s January – a couple of inches of dry, drifting snow when I get up at 5:00 a.m., 10 degrees with a brisk wind. I have to take off my glasses to pull on the handmade neckwarmer I got for Christmas. It’s a snug fit, and as I pull it slowly over my face, I think of the amusing spectacle this must present. I recall the title of a science fiction story I read once: “I Have No Mouth, But I Must Scream.” Then it’s time to pull on boots, bundle into a heavy coat, grab gloves and knit cap – all so I can sit out on the dark porch for ten minutes and drink my coffee. Maybe I need therapy, I think. But then it occurs to me: maybe this is the therapy I need? If life were therapy, and therapy were life, why then…

I have no mouth but
I must scream,
says the wind.

My tongue knows its
own taste: the half-
frozen stream.

You draw me & I’ll
draw you, I tell
my childhood self.

We lean like ladders
against the clouds.
With one listening foot I feel
for the next rung down.


[Click here for Dave’s explanation of haibun, the literary form of this composition.]

© 2005 Dave Bonta. Used by permission.

By Dave Bonta

Dave Bonta is a poet and literary magazine editor from the eastern edge of western Pennsylvania. He blogs at Via Negativa.