Does it startle you,
shake you from oblivion,
draw you to attention,
to your fear?

Or do you turn away
huddled, covering
your head and shoulders,
shrugging to save
all the warmth you can
in that last instant

before you are swimming
in the frigid air,
by a wave capsizing,
ripping even your feet
from under you?

Lord knows how the shock
of bitterness
can drive us this way, that.

Listening to James Taylor’s Fire and Rain.