The end of winter brings change:

snowdrops emerge through old dirt;
sharp staccato birdsong from the cedars
beside the house; snow melts and a trickle
of something familiar seeping in
through the cracks. Your poems
are still in my pantry, sticky
under jars of jam we made,
thinking ahead to next year
without regard for disintegration.

I’d use your poems to plug the cracks
but they’re as useless as my ability
to change, incessant birdsong

of my inability to grieve,
this old forest fire called indecision
blazing trails through my heart.

A thousand miles away you’re
exploring new trails and soon
the Cochrane wildfire will blaze close
to you, all signs of spring wiped out
and I wish I could pour your familiarity
down the drain or burn it
among the snowdrops, the sharp
staccato of memory igniting in the pre-
morning light.

Catherine Friesen (they/them) is a queer and non-binary writer, editor, sometimes illustrator, and all-around nature lover living on the side of a mountain. They majored in psychology and creative writing in their undergrad and are currently working through art therapy grad school. When they’re not reading or writing, they can be found baking cakes, singing to their plants, or getting lost in the woods.

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