by Virginia Boudreau

Mist seeps from ice crusting the pond,
ghosts like a warning, or a murder
startled from branches at the distant rim.

I picture my mother treading water
beneath a brittle ceiling, her
slender fingers searching for seams
in frost, a fissure she can break through
for air.

I know her lungs are swollen,
that blood sacs of blackened blue
flag irises hide in the dwindled ring,
the sedge and weary rushes
our endless winter left behind.

Hope is scavenged on the honed
edge of a single crow’s wing as
day by day she dwindles, an iridescent
bubble shimmering on the edge
of a neon plastic wand.

My child-self watches fragile
rainbows shift as the orb tremors,
waits in dread for the soundless
“ping” over the still pool.

The pearl moon is a wingless dove
when she rises from the silvered reeds.
Heaven’s Milky Way exhales a quadrillion
pin-pricked sorrows as the water lilies and
spatterdock flower into breath.


Image by Birgit from Pixabay