More Than the Sting

The air stings our eyes like

an onion just cut,

the sting of a slap,

a small oven burn—

like tears squeezed back until

mother’s casket was

lowered, the cables that

grimaced and squeaked.


It’s not just the cold that

surrounds us and stings, but

the notion of yet one more

winter itself.

How many Christmas trees

have we cut down?

The years grow, and hover like

breath we exhale—

gone to droplets, small

personal clouds.


But do you hear distant waves

pounding the shore?

Can you smell Christmas, or

fresh ginger bread?

Do you remember rolling

in grass—

a time when you

studied the shapes

in the clouds?


Look there—the ocean,

a navy blue line

dark as a uniform,

perfectly pressed.

The wind walks us quickly toward

the gray cliffs.



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