In the Dead of the Winter

December 3, 2008
By Hannah Clover, Murphysboro, IL

In the dead of the winter,
the ground covered in frost,
in her hand, she holds the gift,
though it appears to be empty.
And even with the warmth of the fire,
she can still see her breath.

As her chest moves out for a breath,
out of the window she sees the white of the winter.
The rustling of the fire
attempts to distract her from the frost
enveloping her heart, that feels empty
and to fill it would only take one gift.

Only hoping for the gift
that would bring the first breath,
that would fill the void of being empty,
that would shield her from the bite of the winter,
that would save her from that initial frost,
that would protect her heart from the fire.

The blazing fire,
tries to steal the gift,
teams up with the frost,
trying to hold her breath,
feeding off the winter,
keeping her soul empty.

Fearing the feeling of being empty
in a room lit by the glow of the fire—
the only thing warm about the winter,
never believing in her gift,
she looks around and takes a deep breath,
realizing she cannot hide from the frost.

Finally the dreaded frost
catches up, leaving her empty,
not able to take another breath,
smoldering the fire
in her heart, stealing the gift
and ending the winter.

With the winter leaving her empty,
and the frost extinguishing the fire,
she opens the gift and takes her last breath.

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