Nyla felt the heavy steps coming up the stoop
Before the muffled thud of snowy feet...
Hurried to the stove to check the roast,
Apron-wiped her brow from oven heat.
In from chores, her Hiram stood a little bowed,
"I'm worried 'bout Old Sol," was all he said,
"I know it's nearly April now, but still, somehow,
He's failing." In his voice she heard a quiet dread.
"I know he's getting old...nearing twenty-two."
Words came spilling out, and Nyla stood to hear,
"The cold is hard for him to take; I feel it, too,
And February was so long and cold and drear."
"The longer days still colder grow... are hard
On every living thing, except a dormant few.
Our flagging summer memories become marred;
Old horses and old men lose hopeful views."
"I'll go down with an extra scoop of oats,"
Old Hiram said. "Perhaps to cheer him up a bit."
Nyla didn't argue, turned down the stove,
Finished table chores, and found her place to sit.
In only minutes Nyla heard the slow footfall;
Asked, "Hiram?" then said nothing more.
No words were needed for she knew it all,
And held her husband close beside the kitchen door.