nestled deep in snow,
only her breath has life on this wintry day.
heaving up warmth from small bellow lungs,
she blows through “O” lips, puffs of breath
like smoke signals.
bundled in a red snowsuit, arms and legs encased,
she taps her boots together, knocks crystals from silver-buckles,
bites at ice-balls on stiff woolen mittens.
kernels surrender to the ocean of her mouth -
mingling of warm and cold tastes like God.
blinking, frozen cheeks burn, heart tightens.
the swoosh-woosh in her temples slows to the cadence
of water, stiffening to a glassy pane over still-life.
drowsy, eyes heavy, the set curve of the snow bank
diffuses until there is only a canvas of alabaster
under fluttering lids.
arms and legs extended, she floats upwards in her snowsuit
a small red cross in the sky.
afternoon sun slices low across frozen landscape,
icy branches glint and chime, singing their bright notes,
insistent as church bells.
her heartbeat’s call pulls her back down to snow bank -
a fallen angel swaddled in red, gulping at crystalline air,
the whip of winter scalding her tongue.
her chest a hot river of happy
© Annabelle Jane Murray