Clouds fell to the ground in a fog, the air
dense as mud forcing the sun dark early,
resting so heavy the yard light failed, and
the barn just slightly misplaced from where
it should be. Moist horses materialize from
shadows, as I cautiously feel the way between
pens, my arms piled high with hay. Temps
dropped by morning chores, gumboots on
gravel frozen shiny to a crystalline lacquer,
baby steps to hold balance on ice, my back
muscles tense remembering the ease of a slip.
And I do, landing hard on frozen rocks and slick
tree roots, face bouncing against unforgiving
ground, my eyes shut to the vacuum in my
chest. Have I broken my nose? Is there blood?
Pushing a painful shoulder, rolling over to catch
my breath and above, a crisp sky the turquoise
color of a small box from Tiffany’s and nestled
inside, the tree’s branches spread wide, each
twig encrusted with diamonds, all diamonds.
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