the coffin

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his eyes are fixed upon me,
envisioning the scene inside –
the darkness. the cold stale air.
her eyes sewn shut.
the subdued voices muffled
by this polished oak frame.

the winter is severe outside,
and snow covers the ground.
most of the family sits close to me
yet he stands just outside
the blue makeshift covering.
the wind wildly blows its fingers
through his white hair, stings his face,
and whispers past his perfect
handlebar mustache. but those eyes.

maybe he sees himself in here,
unwilling to step into a shelter
away from the relentless wind.

Winter

Words form slowly in winter
when wind blows rigid
branches in the first freeze.
White flakes gently fall
while the trees write stories
in the sky. My breath
sticks to a window warm
and gray where I trace words
from memory. They fade
into fog like passing thoughts,
beginning again the lonely scene.

 

* A revision of a poem written 20 years ago.

winter offering

the first frozen
day and my whole
world is swallowed
in snow. quiet air
chills my bones
as i draw each breath.

exhale.

every grey puff
is winter’s sacred
meditation chime,
an invocation
of gratitude as time
fades quickly away.

 

Special thanks to Jamie Dedes for her Wednesday Writing Prompt. She graciously included winter offering along with the responses from other poets today on her blog, The Poet By Day. If you don’t already follow her, I recommend it.

Processing

Some days the words are slow to form,
and my mind is as empty as the lines
on the waiting pages. Hours pass
before I notice the soft tapping of sleet
against the window, reminding me
of the time I ran across the sidewalk
at grandma’s house, and my foot slipped
on the ice. I hovered parallel to the ground
before crashing hard upon my back.
For a moment I could not catch my breath,
and I blinked in wonder when the stars
watched me gasp for the freezing air.