The Dead of Winter

(Photo: Patricia Bour-Schilla)

We speak of it
as though it were a place,
a battlefield strewn
with corpses,
a burial ground
of shattered statues
hooded with snow.
We picture something
grainy, gray-and-white,
crow-like figures
hunching inside capes,
frost working its claw
into the heart of trees.
In this zone we hear
an echo, a dread voice
that chills words to zero.
Over on the dark shore
branches snap like bones.
Scurrying across the ice,
we wait for the crack,
never looking down
into the depths, so close
but a lifetime away,
the final holding tank
of those we couldn’t
hope to save.

 

Rich Broderick lives in Saint Paul and teaches journalism at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Rich is a writer, poet, and social activist.

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