Broken stalemate

“So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go, first be reconciled to your brother or sister…” – St. Matthew’s Gospel

* * * * *

There they sit, back to back

shoulders slumped in denial

of the frozen but not dead.

A light-year stalemate

mocks the freshness

of stolen stares

and words, a little too free.

Mouths, sealed from the inside

like jail-cell bars and chicken wire

remain closed to avoid

rusty words unfit

for newly rustling souls.

Sing the familiar songs

but not too loudly

lest the wind drown out

the blurry shape

of growing melodies.

Coax the buds of festive fare

bloated and waiting,

waiting to return

green for their grey.

Straw horses and gravel roads

offer their backs to lost

and awkward travel companions,

now, once again, stepping lightly

on sure stones.

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