I never dream of winter woods, though there is
space enough for us here, clear air fit for exhaling
into mist, whistle-thin around my neck.
I hear what is here; a bird three regrets away,
trilling a melancholy something. A creek in
the gulley, bubbling cold and tugging chords.
A breeze whisping the tip of a birch, a lone
leaf landing on the littered floor. What is left
is silence—no snapping twig beneath your
boot. No branch pulled to your heavy scarf, flinging
itself backward as you pass it. The forest floor
is still. I look but cannot find your breath
melting upward, expanding to smoke signals
whispering what I already know—there are no
dreams in winter woods too sparse to fill a hope.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.
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