Gray and cold so she skips her walk
but she canít settle, even with a cup of tea
so out she goes with her coat and hat and

alpaca gloves, through dirt edged snow
in the small wood where black and white
birds thrum, then dart away at her approach.

On the pondís far side, half seen houses glow
in deadened air. Her boot strikes a hard, little
branch. But no, it turns out to be a golden key

half buried against a rock and she has to kneel
to pry it loose, then wipe it clean against her
jeans. When she reaches the river, she bends low

over the railing near the dam, listening to water
gurgle through thin ice. The key burns in her
hand. She waits for a door in her mind to appear.

It solidifies slowly into something hard and rough,
a slate where she can scratch some name she owns,
blessing or jealous curse burned into the restless land.

Steve Klepetar

If you have any comments on this poem, Steve Klepetar would be pleased to hear from you.