“Cold Comfort”

img_3043“This piece moved us from sentence to sentence.”

I read my acceptance email in the early morning chill of my mother’s kitchen in Maine. The coffee was still brewing, the woodstove not yet restarted for the day, turtleneck snug about my neck and long wool sweater hugging my hips. Just the night before, snuggled up in the cool TV room under a lapquilt made by my mother, chilled fingers moving on my keyboard building lesson plans, it had occurred to me that this was not unlike my winters in Jordan.

Appropriate, then, to find the right home that same week for a heartfelt, deeply personal meditation on cold.

I’ve never known cold like that in America. Damp downpour cold, unrelenting, sinking deep down to the bone. When I pass homeless men sleeping on the warm vent grates of a New York City sidewalk, a visceral memory of that cold rises from my marrow.

Poverty memories. Peace Corps memories. And echoes of despair….

I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of “Cold Comfort” in Issue 2 of Varnish – A Journal of Arts and Letters.


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