by Aprilia Zank
with a painting by the Syrian artist Nihad Wicho

I thought I’d heard
a child cry for help
when I passed the lake
yet, on turning my head
all I sensed
was snow dust
on the frozen mirror

we’d take a torch
to light our passage
through the snow
towering the path
I was aching with fear
at the thought
that the white roebuck
might cross our steps
rumours went about
that even the wolves
would weasel
out of its way
only the cursed maid
who had dared
to cast a glimpse
would now roam about
moon white
in her torn gown

I would hear
the cry of lambs
rent by wolves
in the crux of night
and the whistle of trains
ghosting by
never slowing to stop

[© Nihad Wicho]


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