Solitary confinement,

with only the cold for company.

Giant oaks buttress a frail sky,

mute branches interlace

in a frieze of premature sadness.


Once we two walked in defiant youth,

sniffed woodsmoke, kicked

winter discards high into pale air,

laughed with the certainties of love.

I remember your sweater, bronzed

by firelight,

your lips bright promises.

But your words hid a chill climate,

withered like leaves in an unforgiving wind.


Now I trust bare earth;

like a bird on a dead branch, watch

for the first hint of green.


Jacqui Stewart.