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Jennifer Lambe

A cold damp winter comes every year upon a little girl, who waits, sitting on a tree branch, leg dangling. Her eyes close and she dreams that the falling flakes fill the world around her, blinding her from the reality that she is lost, but still knows the path home. This tree has been her solitude every winter. Every limb of the tree is an extension of her self, but the roots cannot be distinguished. She does not shiver as the wind blows, but welcomes it. Becoming engulfed in the senses on her skin that cold winters bring, she welcomes the storm that exists without, but denies the torrent within, for it is easy to blame a lost path on the elements.

On her skin dance the falling flakes, melting, running from her face and dripping down to the valley on her chest. The slow numbness that flows from head to toe is a constant reminder of why she came to this tree. The little girl has come to this very tree to watch the first snowfall, to watch the grass become slowly swallowed up by the blankets of November. As the wind picks up and swirls the flakes more vigorously, the girl is reminded of homestead obligations, which suspend her enlightenment. The turmoil spinning inside of her is echoed in the approaching storm.

The dirt trail that led her to this very tree lies behind her to the east, beckoning her to come home. The vague footprints begin to look as though they were deep chasms as they are filled by falling flakes… creating a treacherous passageway homeward.

She waits, limbs dangling and hopes she might fall, but knows she cannot will herself to let loose the smallest morsel of control she still has. As the shoe from her left foot dangles, it draws the attention away from the cold, and lets veracity slip inside the frozen girl transiently. As she slips from the frozen extension of her soul and slides down to the virgin soil ever so slowly, the coarseness of the bark grazes her tender skin. Only a single drop of blood flows. One single drop of her soul escapes to find freedom in a frozen world.

Flakes fall slowly as she forces one foot in front of the other, filling the already gray skies. Winter has come. It has come to rescue a lost daughter.

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