By Ieisha McIntyre
In the sweet soft quiet of the morning, I set my feet, hesitant onto virgin snow.
Full fresh scent of crisp crowds my nostrils and lends itself to the clearing of my mind’s fog. I am new. Made clear. The shock blue of sky bounces white and glistening off the tops of snow and water.
And the crunch-squeak as my boots make their careful way.
With each step, I have ruined someone’s morning view.
They will not have the privilege of a clear and uninfluenced path. My grief is not short, just swept aside. Instead, I enjoy the hush of morning, and the wisp-shush of wind as it pushes loose snow over icy drifts.
Crows land with a soft tap.
Even the lightest foot,
even a wing assisted foot cannot go unnoticed. Even a feather sounds as the whiskers of an old man’s untended beard.
Coffee warm, and grasped against my chest-
Lips, tucked behind my scarf-
Hair hidden under wool, and fingers growing cold for the want of better mittens- I travel briskly.
Breath is labored, the cold cutting sharply into wet lungs. More than two city blocks to travel through fresh snow; how strange the shift cold makes. Now, the curse and impediment to progress, the glare of white, strains the eyes.
Two slips, a loss of coffee – now tepid. Exhaustion, and not even halfway to my destination, I stop. Take a moment. And, survey.
The crows have followed, and are in want of the remnants of my peanut buttered bagel, stuffed halfway in my pocket. A lure. Somehow, I feel myself, bate. Non-angelic wings, full ominous with blackness. There is an unsettling keenness in their eyes. I am certain they know my name. I scurry on and abandon my bagel.
Stone steps before me and the lure of warmth. I am not in need of seduction. Ready to betray the morning and the light for the comfort of indoors and berber carpet. A tug of a heavy door.
Pretending—not to watch for her,
Pretending—not to need the sight of her smile,
Pretending—not to feel the sickness in the gut of me,
Pretend—not to need love.
Deprive my spirit of what she freely gives.
I slide into the cold seat of my chair, let my bag drop to the floor, take my pen to paper and begin.
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