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Summer Cold

"Is there really a difference between a summer cold and a winter one?"
asked Cheryl Cameron, skeptical of my self-sympathetic adjective.

by Duncan Dwelle, summer 1996


Winter's cold fits like a chapped rough hand
in a chilly mitten -
the discomfort is expected but less than that surrounding.

Summer's cold is a rude interloper
into the midst of warmth and gaiety.

Winter's cold is the not entirely unwelcome excuse
to languish in bed
avoiding the gales which lash the window sill with icy knives.

Summer's cold gives no such compensation
for picnics missed and evenings not in the garden plucking spent blossoms.

Winter's cold is life's reminder of who's in charge,
lest we forget, of weather and whether we survive it;

while summer's cold is a syncopated incongruity -
out of time and out of breath
when every breath should be a sip of summer.