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Winter Hunger

I have never ached for snow before,

but I can feel the longing grow inside my chest.

This year I crave the cold and the quiet.

The razor sharp clarity of the stars

burning bright against the winter sky.

But no snow comes, no frost bites.

If we can dance for rain, footprints pounding the dusty earth,

then surely there is a rite to beg the snow to come?

Must we shout, sing, call into the open skies?

I am tracing the cold with my fingertips,

I am spinning fast to draw winter's arms around me.

Still, no snow falls.

I am grateful for the palpable memories

that this body holds. They tide me over,

keep me looking up.

I reach back in time for snow covered lashes;

ice mixed with air in my lungs as I climb

river banks dressed in white.

Watching in wonder at the steady balance

of snow scaffolding rising high on branches overhead.

And the peaceful eery silence as it falls,

disappearing into the black water without a trace.

Watching in stillness as it goes drifting away; away; away.

I will continue to reach my hands up,

Turn my face up to the sky.

Mouth open, waiting for the cold

to fall and melt into me.

Quenching the fire of the year gone by.

© Elizabeth McLaughlin


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