13 Degrees — By Kevin Rabas

When it gets

cold, and instead

of riding a Ferris wheel

in the snow, flakes

like white holiday lights,

you must walk

to work, to school,

your hat on, hood up,

your gloves ragged,

take heart, somewhere

a warm room

waits for you.

~ Kevin Rabas

Kevin Rabas is the current Kansas Poet Laureate. He teaches at Emporia State University, where he leads the poetry and playwriting tracks. He has seven books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner.

Guest Editor Denise Low, second Kansas Poet Laureate, has published over 20 books of award-winning poetry and essays, including Ghost Stories (Woodley) and Natural Theologies, essays about Mid-Plains literature (Backwater Press). Low was visiting professor at the University of Richmond and Kansas University. She taught at Haskell Indian Nation University, where she founded the creative writing program. She served Associated Writing Programs as board president. She and her husband Thomas Pecore Weso publish Mammoth Publications.

2 thoughts on “13 Degrees — By Kevin Rabas

  1. Kevin, you think 13 degrees is cold? 🙂 Just kidding. I am from upstate New York and we only make mention of the weather when below zero there. I loved your poem; the image of riding the Ferris wheel in the snow and walking to school especially. The clean simplicity of your lines conjured up childhood days, only chillier. 🙂

  2. This poem took me back to my days in Michigan. For some reason, the cold and snow there didn’t bother me nearly as much as the cold we’ve had this winter has. Of course, I was younger then. Love the poem.

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