Yesterday, I saw you
Differently than I see you.
For just one beat
I saw the wrinkles
On your face were
Dug deep as the
Holes in your heart.
The white of your
Hair was weak, pale
As the single rose
You positioned in a
Jar on the table.
I saw you without
Seeing my memories and
Without the mask I
Try to put on
You. It is strange
What our eyes see
When our hearts and
Our minds aren’t looking.
The House’s Glow
Two pairs of sopping snow boots lie haphazardly by the door
The boy’s and the girl’s cold, compact bodies crumble in front of the fire
Pixels of snow melt on the tips of their hair
They introduce their frozen fingertips to the orange flames’ glow
Empty mugs stand on the soft wooden table, waiting to be filled
With steaming hot chocolate to put the children’s wishes to sleep
On top of the fireplace, snow-drenched mittens sleep
The abandoned snowman waits outside the door
Wishing his hat wasn’t made of snow, while inside the mugs are filled
And placed by the children who giggle in front of the fire
The girl slowly lifts the drink to her blue lips and delights in its cozy glow
A thick blanket is wrapped around her shoulders and covers her head like hair
The snowman waits outside wishing that he had hair
Inside a woman with thick dark hair rests on a couch with her blue-eyed baby in deep sleep
A man with snow colored hair sits on a chair under a lamps’ steady glow
Not understanding the book in his tired hands, he closes it like a door
The boy and the girl sprawl stomachs pressed to the carpeted floor before the fire
The boy puts his blue crayon down, his coloring book is filled
The mugs by the fire are not refilled
The woman on the couch closes her eyes and strokes her baby’s delicate hair
The boy and the girl tell jokes in front of the chuckling fire
Outside, the snowman wishes he had a snug, quilt covered bed in which to sleep
He wishes he had hands with thumbs so he could open the door
And feel the house’s glow
The boy stands up and walks in socks to the door
His brown eyes meet the snowman’s pebble eyes and he wishes he could bring the snowman inside to warm up by the fire
Next to the boy is a different woman with sand colored hair
She assures her little son that he can play with the snowman again tomorrow and his gap-toothed grin glows
His sandy-haired mother smiles too, glad that his hopes have been fulfilled
In front of the fire, the crayon in the girl’s coloring hand sleeps
The understanding man puts a brown log into the fire
He looks at the woman and the blue-eyed baby and he glows
In his arms, the girl is asleep
In the warm house, soon all the beds are filled
The empty mugs stay patiently in front of the fire
The snowman stays on the other side of the door
The people dream nothing and the night is fire-filled
In the darkness, the house still glows, and pillows hide under dozing hair
Outside, the snow doesn’t sleep, and all night it knocks on the door
The night was glowing with warm, calm tension.
The night was a table with plates of cheese and half empty glasses of red wine
standing solemnly, comforting each other.
The night was silent but it screamed out of memories not made and thoughts not spoken.
That night voices murmured things I didn’t want to hear.
That night friends stood together, sipping whispers and slowly chewing flavorless melancholy.
That night pale sheets fell on the breakable figure of my misplaced mother.
That night was teasingly peaceful, shoving my hidden struggles into the light.
That night candle flames swayed to rhythms of the past.
That night candle flames flickered and cast shadows on hollow white columns.
That night candle flames disguised dark faces I thought I knew.
That night candle flames brought to light answers for questions I never asked.
That night candle flames allowed me to see the beauty I had lost in her.
That night I didn’t realize that it was the last night.
Age 16, Grade 11
Elisabeth Irwin High School