|SHADOWS IN THE SNOW
Lilia P. Westmore
2002 by Lilia P. Westmore
Hope is the bright
spot that inspires. With hope
I shivered in the morning cold as I looked out into the wide plain, covered in silvery snow. It was not yet light and as I stood on my stocking feet, I noticed the shadow beyond the snow-covered hill. My heart thumped. I felt the coldness as it touched my heart.
He left many months ago, a solitary figure, bent beyond his years, his shoulders heavy with fear and longing. He wasn't coming back, he yelled against the wind that brought down the snow on his head. I felt the sting of tears that cascaded down my cheeks, tasted the saltiness. I brushed them off with the back of my hand.
I turned away from the window, sat on the edge of my bed, and cried into my hands. What was it that drove him from me? It had been too long, I couldn't even recall the whole episode that led to the quarrel. It was the hurt I remembered, the pain of loss, the agony of love that shattered into ugly pieces in the melting snow.
He came home that wintry day, a load of problems on his shoulders. He wasn't happy, he was miserable. He wanted his freedom. The coldness of his approach deadened my consciousness. I stared at him, nauseous, bitterly hateful. I was numbed to the core, his love gone, his loyalty diminished, his faithlessness an open wound. He sought forgiveness but there was none I offered.
I heard again the gentle breeze that brought in the coldness. The hurt lingered. I wasn't ready to lose the hatred and the anger. I got off the bed, walked to the open window. I stared long and hard. The shadow had gone. It was a mirage, a false light, nothing but a memory that disappeared into the whiteness, and blended into the blinding snow. It was all a dream that melted with the rain, a lost cause.
I turned away, picked
up the blanket that slid down the side of the bed, and smoothed the bedspread.
The light of the sun that peeped over the top of the hill shone, brightening
the dark corners of the peach bedroom. I put on wool slacks, a thick sweater
and tied a scarf over my curls. There was work that needed attention.
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