Multiple Layers


White. It is everywhere.

Up and down, left and right

Snow blankets every sight—

Lawns, gardens, shrubs and trees

Homes, cars, sidewalks and streets.

Falling, fluffy little clouds of white

Cover even traffic lights!


Few cars here and there

Brown, black or neither.

Not a pedestrian anywhere

But cold, white snow everywhere,

Reflecting all the light,

Intensifying the glare

Of the sun so bright,

The view is shimmering

This January frigid morning.


Got to keep warm

So I dress in layers—

Thermal shirt and pants

Made of stretchy polyester

Regular shirt over thermal shirt

Regular pants over thermal pants

Then still another layer,

A heavy-knit, snuggly sweater.


Next, I wear cushy, wool socks

To keep my feet warm and comfy,

Then waterproof, non-skid boots

To keep me walking steady

On snow-covered icy ground

That’s oh, so slippery!


Then I wear my soft fleece gaiter

As nose, mouth and neck cover,

To fend off the biting cold air

In this sub-zero weather.

For the fourth and outermost layer,

Cuddling me, cocooning me all over,

My goose down, puffer coat.


But I’m not done yet.


Got to wear my chunky beanie

To keep my head and ears cozy,

Then my polar fleece gloves

To keep the bitter winter

From freezing my fingers.


And last but not least

My big brown, tinted glasses,

Protection from the dry air

Shield from the winter glare

Softening the harsh light

From the very bright, cold white.


All this is what it takes

Just to walk outside

And get into my stride,

To keep with the pace

Of this northern, wintry place.


I miss Manila. I miss warmth.

There, I don’t need to cover

With multiple, multiple layers.


The author, Debbie Aquino, is from Luzon and has lived in the midwestern US for over 20 years. She is blessed beyond measure, thankful and happy, whether it’s spring or summer, fall or even winter. She may be contacted at (May 27, 2017)