Numbers and Figures

it’s still early and my wife is upstairs
talking to some people on Zoom
our 2 girls are huddled
on the couch 
under a blanket
the dog has been in and out
47 times so far today

it feels cold inside
but the heat is set to 71
I am
54 years old
actually that is
wrong I am
only 53

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it’s been a week of inside
all the time
outside the remnant of
yesterday’s snowstorm
is still so white yet
melting into itself
as the chariot of the sun 
runs its arcing path

yes our 2 old friends
hope and warmth are
with us now but
like always they’re going to
fade away
they say another storm
is soon to come 
at 3 AM
when we are asleep

my friend Chris is gone
it’s been over 4 months now
I think of him 
at least 3 times a day
and there are 2
open bottles of scotch on top
of the 1 fridge
we have 6 trees
in our back yard
which to me is
4 too many but
my wife likes them
it’s the green and the oxygen
the Oh 2

how many days this
inside living will remain
is anyone’s guess
solve for x
no one has
scribbled an equation
on a chalkboard
or yellow notepad

numbers are cold
so certain of themselves
they tally everything yet
so much
slips past
their high self-esteem 

today is 1 day
tomorrow will be 
1 also
this is all I can say
for sure right now

Michael Henry is executive director of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.