Once Upon a Frozen Star
by Michael R. Burch
Oh, was it in this dark-Decembered world
we walked among the moonbeam-shadowed fields
and did not know ourselves for weight of snow
upon our laden parkas? White as sheets,
as spectral-white as ghosts, with clawlike hands
****** deep into our pockets, holding what
we thought were tickets home: what did we know
of anything that night? Were we deceived
by moonlight making shadows of gaunt trees
that loomed like fiends between us, by the songs
of owls like phantoms hooting: Who? Who? Who?
And if that night I looked and smiled at you
a little out of tenderness . . . or kissed
the wet salt from your lips, or took your hand,
so cold inside your parka . . . if I wished
upon a frozen star . . . that I could give
you something of myself to keep you warm . . .
yet something still not love . . . if I embraced
the contours of your face with one stiff glove . . .
How could I know the years would strip away
the soft flesh from your face, that time would flay
your heart of consolation, that my words
would break like ice between us, till the void
of words became eternal? Oh, my love,
I never knew. I never knew at all,
that anything so vast could curl so small.
Originally published by Nisqually Delta Review. Keywords/Tags: blank verse, winter, December, snow, white, ghosts, parka, frozen, star, warm, warmth, tenderness, glove, ice