Northwords Now Issue 40

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Together, Lit Up

i.m. Celia Monico

by Paula Jennings

After she died she came back
to me, walking with a bouncy step,
waving a bottle of Cava, ready
to celebrate even my anguish.

Sometimes now she returns
at Winter Solstice with candles
in jam jars, and our feet slither
again over the stepping stones

as we climb through midnight,
small beacons flickering, towards
a ritual born from our bones
and the bones of leafless trees.

She laughs at the stream of loss
that the seasons inflict in their
helpless turn, at the illness that
eclipsed her scarecrow muscles

till only her eyes and her smile
could speak. We chant and sing,
frost crisping under our feet,
welcoming the returning light.