Last Words by Rachel Smith

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


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