Ice burns, and it is hard to the warm-skinned to distinguish one
sensation, fire, from the other, frost.
~A. S. Byatt from Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
Compared to the rest of the country, our winter has been quite moderate — no heavy snows, no days of sub-zero temperatures, no ice storms.
Yet 10 days of northeast arctic winds have begun to take a toll: my face and hands are reddened just as if I’ve been in the sun too long.
Whether we are consumed by flames or frozen, resulting in ashes or ice — how it will feel is the same.
Yet ashes remain ashes, only and forever after, mere dust.
If, encased in ice, a thaw may restore,
then frozen memory sears like sculpture
meant to melt, ceasing to imprison.