Cabin Fever

I'm freezing, so I tack flannel sheets
under the blinds, discovering the frost
has resurrected the finger oils
of someone named Linda. Twice
the precise lettering appears, well
out of reach of a child's hand.

The window overlooks the street.
I've stood there, impatient for mail
or visitors, yet this is the first
I've heard from her. I scan my studio
for other traces, blaming her
for the erratic nails, especially
one eye level screw, dead center, that
no painting hangs from comfortably.

I start to attribute other mischief
to her; misplaced keys and night knocks,
then fear she may be trapped, the bitter
cold compelling her to contact me.
"I never got out. It never warmed up."
I keep checking the pane for further word.

I remind myself: It is winter everywhere.
Outside, Buffalo trudges past, layered in
clothes like shuck on corn. Like that screw,
an act of defiance, Linda versus concrete,
in relief of the wide white wall.

~~ Virginia Conn