My feet fall through the snow, with a heavy crunch, crunch, crunch,
disappearing up to the ankle. All that ice and crystal will not hold me.
I stand by the mailbox of my childhood home, in the frigid night air,
the same spot where you slipped and fell
3 winters ago,
when you went out to fetch the mail for my father,
who sat in his chair, his fingers nervously picking at the curtain.
His nails short, his skin anxious and sickly white.
That winter, when he was sick,
no, sicker, because that is how this story goes,
you slipped on the ice and landed with a heavy thud on your back
at the top of my quiet street. The wind was knocked out of you.
Two deer came out of the woods, their hooves steady
no, steadier, on the ice than your booted feet.
They passed you, the bigger one with antlers held low
gave you a cautious look as if you were an enemy laying prostrate
your weapon, perhaps your arm,
and they crossed through the yard, balancing on the snow
their noses dangerously close to the ground.
I lay here now, 3 winters later
where you laid, against that same ice, my legs freezing against the pavement,
my heart thumping in my chest
tired from the work of turning back the clock
and undoing what cannot be undone.
20 hours ago