The Ghost of the Year Past
In a dark wood, she stood
in a circle of yews,
each one knotted with red thread,
lest we forget.
On each tree, a rune, a foreboding.
We’d passed this way before.
To me, she looked like a corpse bride,
her face masked with her own hand,
unable to tell the story of
In her other hand she held a bouquet
of white Christmas roses.
As I watched, she grew blue with cold.
The sky opened, until she was veiled in snowflakes,
each crystal, each cross-stich and half-stich as fine as lace.
Every snowflake unique, over 70,000 now.
The look she gave me chilled me to the bone.
She tossed her bouquet into the New Year
and I caught it, its thorns needles of ice,
I couldn’t follow her. When she left
her tracks were lost to the blizzard.
I sniffed the roses and they were still as sweet.
Turning away, I found a new path.
Sandra Ireland, 2021