Bleak

Under the dying light,

snow blankets the land like

the white fur covering a rabbit,

the greying spruce look like

monoliths symbolising adages:

sayings of a bygone era

that make no difference to me

as I trudge, knock-kneed,

oblivious to the ticking clock.

I cling to nostalgia

like a melancholy psalm that

never finds catharsis,

the lines swallowing each other

with sharp regret,

the words their own enemy

without the need for a Saul waiting

in ambush, or an unrighteous

naysayer’s spiteful thoughts.

I remember mother

who held me

when emptiness just as

piercing frightened me

into thousand-yard stares

and speechlessness,

kindness empowered her

and love kept her going,

I struggled to reciprocate

her feelings, even though I

knew she knew that I loved

her, but that knowing

isn’t the joyous note that

ends this lament.

The wintry land

interspersed with a few

shrubs with niveous pinions

offers only bleakness

antithetical to that first awkward

kiss where I kept brushing

off a strand of my girlfriend’s hair

or that first blush of joy

with rosy effervescence promising

a future replete with

frankincense and myrrh.

I remember friends as I

continue in this land denuded of

life, a charcoal grey empty shack

with blotches of white

like chalk streaks on a blackboard

mourning in a corner,

they never cared or

if they did, I pushed them

away, drove them from

the balcony where I sat for

years, night after night,

smoking cigarettes, not even

allowing their faint essences

to illuminate a

corner of my mind and bring back

something lost. Now everything is;

there is nothing here

except the cold with its

claws raking me

tattooing my skin,

numbing me, pushing me

with a vigour that isn’t

zeal at all.

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