January 7: “Winter Song”

When I walk home through snow or slush
Under a dismal sky,
I do not seek to question much
The what and/or the why.
I am contented to observe
A wintry world. I keep my nerve.

I steer my course mid frozen rocks,
But I forbear to shiver;
Ice cubes as big as city blocks
Beckon me from the river.
I answer them as they deserve,
Displaying how I keep my nerve.

I tell the truth– I am no fibber–
And loudly cry to all
That though the ghouls of winter gibber
And mock the buried Fall,
From mental calm I do not swerve–
I swallow hard, but keep my nerve.

Why do they look at me askance
As though my nerve had failed?
I do not live in gloomy trance,
My cheek has never paled,
I should to all, without reserve,
“I keep my nerve, I keep my nerve!”

— David Daiches


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