Monday, 9 December 2013

The Bitter Chilly

Monday, in the late afternoon lonely, 
the apartment shivered with cold 
and from my window 
the world rose in icy numbness

like a scene from the movie Dr. Zhivago –  
after the revolution.

So, naturally,  
all the little horse drawn carriages, 
with cozy fur lap rugs, 
were nowhere to be found 
amongst the blue concrete –

though wispy snowflakes tumbled  
childishly, in happy-sad, 
reminiscent white breaths

that stirred me to set about looking  
for my hot water bottle 
to press against my flannelette tummy, 
as my mother had taught me to do, 
when I was just a little girl:
To warm the bitter chilly,  
she would say – 
as she tucked soft blankets round 
and hugged me.

photo:  Bitter Chilly - W. Bourke 

© 2013 Wendy Bourke 


  1. "To warm the bitter chilly" aw, what a nice bit of memory, I think. The opening made me say "brrr" to myself, but your close brought back the warmth. Lovely!

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. I used to think that Northern Ontario (where I grew up) was one of the coldest places on earth in the winter. But the damp of the West Coast winter, packs its own unique "brrr" factor.

  3. Oh what a wonderful memory here, Wendy. I had not thought about hot water bottles in a long, long time! And, just as Jennifer, I was touched by the mention of something to 'warm the bitter chilly.'