Melissa walks.
Each footfall shatters ice-covered snow.
The wind caresses her, anoints her in sorrow.
Melissa walks, and twilight presses on her
shoulders, bows her head before the coming night.
Melissa walks, and the sun falls behind her,
hiding the future in long shadows, a shadow
which she knows is partly her own.

Melissa walks, comforted by the cold.
Insulated and isolated. She walks,
silhouetted branches arching over her, each
encrusted with its own crystal burden.
The road ahead snakes and turns, disappears
around a hillside. Hidden uncertainties.
And still she walks.
Alone, without warmth or light, joy,
or hope for the future, she walks.
“For you can’t stop,” she says, “Or the cold will take you.
And you can’t turn back, behind there is only night.”
So Melissa walks, a tear frozen to her lashes.
And around this bend
there is only another bend.

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