Persistence The mid-winter air is so still that I must be a moving thing in it lest I am left senseless, frozen eyelashes

staring at the shadow of thick chimney smoke billowing over the snowy white field. In the kitchen, my fingers wrap the kettle handle as water slowly rattles to a boil. I fill a cup already spilling with the sleepless ocean storm of fear where lightning blue chills of losing you rush me to live alone, to still my senses, to escape time's alchemy. Steam rises, rose buds unfurling in the amber liquid. Summer will return with long green evenings and easy warm mornings. First I must move. Spring river's shifting ice slabs will melt me awake, shake everything alive. Lisa Masé

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