the last great ice age 
began during 1999 in Chicago 
in a converted 4th floor walk-up brownstone-condo 
near north and north park avenue

     maybe it started before then I don’t know
     ice ages’ creep up on a person
     imperceptible changes taking place 
     at a snail’s pace minus 104

but that’s about the year the ice bergs
started floating down the hall
from the kitchen around dinner time
the bad bears in the room at the end of hall
began to growl as they hopped on the ice floes

never mind

in three years the condo was frozen solid
and I took refuge outdoors
in the winter
sitting outside on the deck
or at Local Coffee

I kept warm by smoking
and reading the Politics section
in the Trib
before trudging through the snow
to the ice caves

microclysmic events
leaving the bed too soon
after intimacy
to wash to brush to redress
leaving head dents in the pillow
rumpled sheets and faintly fragrant
as memories
tilting the temporal plane
spilling emotions on the floor

piling up

ever so steadily building to
cataclysmic events
like the continents separating
Africa moving west leaving South America
to fend for herself

driving on highway 26
through forest of the Ents
moss clinging to trunks and limbs
dressing the trees to keep them warm
while standing in fresh snowfall
guarding new generations of Douglas Fir
children of the ancient forest kings

I hear the voices in the wind
announcing the arrival of waves
roaring then calming
surf running silently to the beach
believing the waves are saying my name
calling me back to the beach
different people live in my grandfather’s house
I’ll walk there from town
but I won’t ring the bell or knock
pretending I’m not , I will look at the house
then walk down to the beach
across the short dunes to the hard wet sand
remembering all my summers

I’m ready
to be with familiar things
where the wind and birds
sing lullabys’ and tranquility floats
on the waves

I hear the voices in the wind
announcing the arrival of waves
roaring then calming
surf running silently to the beach
believing the waves are saying my name
calling me back to the beach

different people live in my grandfather’s house
I’ll walk there from town
but I won’t ring the bell or knock
pretending I’m not I will look at the house
then walk down to the beach
across the short dunes to the hard wet sand
remembering all my summers