Sleigh bells tinkle and jingle throughout the night, disturbing my slumber, incessant in their joy. As I trudge to the bottom of my garden, the snow whips and whorls, thrown about by an arctic wind that burns the skin.
Easily, I find it. The barren oak, the fresh mound of earth which I know is there, invisible below the whiteness. Stark and accusing.
It meant nothing, he said.
I tongue the insides of my cheek, gathering warm spit. It lands true and smiling, I return home. He said a lot of things, you know, but that had been his last.
Published in Issue #23