fiction, poetry & more

Honorable Mention
$25 Award


by Kathy Pell

Snow coating the rosebush
tells me you’ve gone.

Flown, as you always do, before the crystals
can form. Always.

They say no two are alike.
Just like us. Not alike, but just like us

needing the reassurance of one another.
I scoop an icy handful

saying my goodbyes
as they wither, wondering

how you say yours because
come spring, we won’t speak

of goodbyes. Sometimes I imagine
that I follow you—

pack up, find someone to feed
the cat and water the ivy—

but I am too rooted.
I’m the willow in the front lawn

while you are a hummingbird hovering
just out of reach of my trailing limbs.

I wish I could birth red flowers in the
crooks of my leaves for you or

that you loved the crisp winter night sky
and the sound of the owls hooting

through naked trees. Sometimes I daydream
that you buy winter boots and you stay,

but you are so pale and
in danger of disappearing

when the sun is low
in the November sky

and the shadows become long
like this


Kathy Pell lives, works and writes in Marlboro, Vermont. Her work has appeared in Red Jacket, and Slant: A Journal of Poetry.