Janice D. Soderling

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BEFORE THE SINGING STOPPED

 

And we were walking, a crowd of us,
nine altogether, or maybe ten, out
walking
across the unspoiled face of the snow,
at midday.
It crackled underfoot, as thin ice crackles.
The birches hung bone-white against blue skies.

And as we topped the first hill,
we stopped and the others walked on,
singing,
across the unspoiled face of the snow’s
pale crust.
Their voices grew fainter, like receding light,
further and further away.

And we turned to take a different route. We saw
a long line of wolf tracks
breaking
the glittering snow like a trough
of shadow.
When we topped the second hill, with frosted breath,
you kissed me for the first time.

Once. Then twice. Again.
When we walked on,
voices,
distant and indistinct, drifted back,
breaking across
the unspoiled face of the snow. Stig’s voice,
and Anna’s, and the others, singing.

We walked, not touching,
but nothing was the same
except the snow
and the singing.

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JANICE D. SODERLING has published poetry, fiction, non-fiction and translations in many international print and online journals such as The American Arts Quarterly, Beloit Poetry Journal, Malahat Review and Rattle. She lives in Sweden.

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Read more by Janice D. Soderling:

 
Poem in The Literary Bohemian
Short fiction at Metazen
Poem at American Arts Quarterly

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