As a gift to my readers and followers, I have a poem for you. I hope you find peace this holiday season. Peace may not come in the form of a world without conflict. Sometimes, it is a place of shelter while the storm rages around us.
Melting Winter’s Heart
Perfectly-formed icicles lace
the tree in my front yard, adorning
the branches like Christmas tree ornaments.
Standing before the tree, I gape
at the baubles, but cringe
when I see the refracted light creating
rainbows of memories of my lost loves.
The prisms mirror my despair within
their icy depths.
Every year I come out to see my
lost loves frozen in the moment
I last gazed upon their faces.
I hear frost crackle and snap as it races across
my chest, painfully slowing my heart
and restricting my breath.
There are more paralyzed memories than last year,
and I wonder how the trinkets always find their
way to my tree. As if I need to see them
to remember what I’ve lost.
I snatch one from the branches, which
gives it up with a shudder, and smuggle
it inside the house within the folds of my coat.
I collapse next to the fire, and
remove my layers until the
frozen fragment rests in my palm.
The chill burns my hand, but I
grip it tighter.
The heat from the fire calms my mind.
The frost from the ornament melts
to tears. I feel them running down
my hands and my face. My heart
palpitates, racing out of fear, but
I won’t look away from my trinket
that starts roaring like the fire. The
flames lick at my skin and dry
the drops of salty water.
A warmth rushes through me, chasing
away the chill that’s haunted me
for years. Laughter fills the air, I
remember the joy this bauble, this love,
brought me and the surprise of it
bubbles up and dances with the crackle
of the fire.
I rise and twirl and sing
holding my love close
to my heart. The shadows
of my sorrow slink away
and I am free to remember
the glow of our memories without
the cobwebs of sadness.
I place the trinket,
now resembling a brilliant star,
atop the Christmas tree
next to the fireplace where I can gaze
upon it and feel the warmth
of the life we once shared.
Maybe next year,
I’ll bring in another.