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Midwinter Elegy

by Marina J. Neary

My sister’s eyes mirrored winter —
Cinnamon on Christmas cookies,
Loose pine needles and bits
Of broken ornaments.
A kaleidoscope of December!

Her lips had a soul of their own,
Twitching, puckering, cracking, bleeding
Until one morning they stiffened,
Dry and ashy.
Her one hand was resting on her chest
Where she hid the secret of her malady,
Her other hand, still sweaty,
Squeezing an orange pill bottle.

Two plaster beads
Were found in her slipper. They refused
To partake in the killing.

For weeks afterwards I could hear moans
Rising from the crease in her pillow,
Growing fainter each day,
Dissolving in the Baltic blizzard.

Copyright © 2009 by Marina J. Neary

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