(Altum Code/Unsplash)

the unhinged ash fell
among the clinkers
still red-hot

glowing gorgeously behind
window squares of isinglass
embedded in etched nickel—
the walls of a benevolent potbelly

emanating warmth worth dressing by
when every window
of that old grey clapboard house
was frosted solid
and a current cold as ice
squirreled blindly under every door

it was a defining time
a time I chose to cherish—
it was the January of my life

now it is October—
in the cellar one small cricket
chirps his pitch
he is the shiny black of anthracite
hiding aside one kept scuttle
long empty


Wilma Spellman is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in Park Ridge, Illinois.

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Published in the March 2023 issue: View Contents
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