Emry Trantham

Winter Woods
by Emry Trantham

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.

Emry TranthamEmry Trantham is an English teacher in Western North Carolina, where she is raising three daughters, taking pictures, and writing poems. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Adirondack Review, Rust + Moth, Blue Mountain Review, and Noble/Gas Qtrly. She is also 2019 Gilbert-Chappell Emerging Poet.

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