if you find Winter drafts bothersome

roll a towel and put it beneath the door

wedge it tight, do not let your fingers touch the cold

do not watch from dim hallway

darkness when light is extinguished

climbing in like stealthy mist

tainting your stillness with caressing poison

instead of dwelling on these things; lie comfortable in your quiet hour

a good book, a glass of wine, some soft music

pretend the ice at the door is not pressing harder

seeking entrance

nor the phone that never rings, suddenly lets shrill

voice pierce silence

do not answer if it persists, do not cradle it and listen

for the tone that will tell you coming pain

for the annual hour marked ever more

these things must stay behind smoked glass

they must be forgotten before they’re retained


that day, that hour, that moment, altered eternal

and when you glance in the mirror

surprised at the grave dirt creasing your brow

when you stare at the blood on your hands

marking the fine lines like a tapestry

nothing will ever be the same afterward

so stay close to the fire, watch the flames devour

time, you, them, these things you thought permanant


let the leaching of light spread soundless across

indigo skies broken with cloud

and birds, quivering in one straight line past horizon

if you can, go with them in your mind

if you cannot; then turn from that place

focus on wholeness

for soon, even as you close yourself tight

crushing eyes shut with ribboned terrors

glass will break, the gas will seep

and we shall again have our heads in ovens

just as our forefathers leave their white bones

scattered beneath opal moon

just as the fox

who caught in the snare

ponders whether he can live still

with one less foot.

6 Replies to “Tripedalism”

  1. Hi Candice, merry Christmas and happy New Year … I adore your poem and these lines were profoundly relatable
    “ so stay close to the fire, watch the flames devour
    time, you, them, these things you thought permanant

  2. Snared we are
    securely as the fox
    obliged to ponder
    if we dare
    what to sacrifice
    for the sake of
    going on
    one side of coin
    the other engraved
    the riddle of the Sphinx

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