Issue Thirty-Seven - Winter 2021

Christmas Break

By Mel Flannery

The South Shore Train leaves in the morning.
One night to bear the dorm’s unnatural silence.

This first real snowfall of the season builds slowly.
Outlines etched on bare trees.

You’ve told your first almost real love goodbye.
Nothing’s bound to change. The sky begins to drop.

You watch it fall in breaths soft, steady and slow,
growing damp and heavy in muffled sound.

Sinking into darkness, silence looms,
snow with more snow weighing down.

You sit on the floor staring out half-frozen,
as snowdrifts lie still hitting cold ground.

Courtyard hedges hidden in evening shade
transform to reveal empty white castles.

The fragile spaces between branches
and ground collapse before your eyes.

The invisible distance between your window
and your world lies buried in layers of snow.

Whispers of soft nothings honor the loss, floating
past glazed eyes in spinning flurries.

Calm and composed, you slip under
the cover of the still white scape.

The wind rises, sagging branches
tremble and shake loose their weight.

If I could reach you in the silent storm,
I’d tell you it’s right to set yourself free.

Escape. Don’t look back before it’s clear.
Don’t get buried under a damp cold glove.

Courtyard castles are never meant to last,
no matter how inviting or enticing the trance.

Copyright Flannery 2021