The kind of snow that bows to the fire in my veins. The swing set chains numb my fingers and I remember when my classmates were dared to lick the steel monkey bar posts at recess. I never tried it, but I wish I did. The Shell Rock River is iced over. The kind of ice that cuts my knuckles when I try to break through and reach you. I remember when my friends and I dug snow tunnels and climbed through them as if we’d known the layout our whole lives. The snow is begging for the touch of walking feet, and I’m begging for the streetlights to not burn out. The quiet of this small town makes my voice crack. I imagine Bedford Falls level hollers downtown. I peak at lit up windows and wonder if they wonder about sidewalk sailors. I remember hot chocolate with marshmallows before bed. Now, I snatch icicles that pour from the sides of the merry-go-round and use them to pick at my teeth. Trying to pull out the taste of my grandmother’s candy. Laying my hunger to rest with her. The sun sets over the water tower and reminds me of the friends that made this town and made a dent in my bones. I hope they remember too. And I hope they find flecks of gold in their Christmases.
About the Poet
Kelli Lage lives in the Midwest countryside. Lage is currently earning her degree in Secondary English Education and works as a substitute teacher. Awards: Special Award for First-time Entrant, 2020, Iowa Poetry Association. Website: www.KelliLage.com.
For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.