I Ate My Lunch in the Quiet

Will I write if no one reads – the question steals oxygen and light from the room. Will I read if no one writes – a deadening suggests, no. Perhaps Finnegan's Wake is not the best litmus test for detecting the reader's soul.

I ate my lunch in the quiet, watching the snow pile. Draft from the old windows cooled my cheeks and nose. There is no lake here, yet I can see clearly the deep, black layers of my childhood waters freezing from shore to center. I can hear the men hammer and bolster their ice shanties for the long hours of sitting in anticipation. Every year someone falls through or a shanty is swallowed whole. One doesn't miss waiting for that day.

How many times will I bury and exhume the bones facing east? My one hundred lives lived, unremembered yet familiar, moan through cornflower hills. They creak through the aching sentinels of the winter forest. Did she leave me any clues? In the beautiful utterances I recognize what I cannot touch. In walking the fine line between hibernation and death, one lets her body do the work.

The coldest day of the year so far.
An uncovered rose bush at the front of the house reminds me of where I've fallen short, like a dead body hanging from town centre.
And no birds; I have nothing to offer them.
They say the sun will peak through around lunchtime and so it is that hope continues to hinge upon what others share.

I am trammeled for now.

Please send birds.