were

 what a cold september winter she went walking in

well she thought she was in a good mood

but the canopy of day bent those perceptions

 

when she came upon a snowbank higher than she

could reach she remembered a bracelet she could

not quite grasp when she was unable yet to form the words

to ask for it

 

high atop the grimy snow pile something glistened

and it broke her time connection for it did not curl

in her the least desire to reach up

 

still the sky crowded around her to get a better look

and with such an audience waiting, she felt compelled to

sally forth.

 

she scrabbled up the crumbling frost stack

and snatched down the shiny thing in her brown

and darkish red knit gloved hand.

 

well it was nothing, just a piece of tinsel, gold

she moved to fling it aside but caught herself instead.

she looked at it

 

and her hand inside the yarn seemed unattached to her

like someone else’s hand offering her this thing.

 

if her heart wouldn’t stop snare drumming she would

crumble to the sidewalk convulsing, but she could not move.

there were many strands of hair some gold some brown

some red some black she would have liked to have been

offered on a hand like hers, some others she had pretended

never were.

 

when a bus rumbled by splashing icy sludge onto her coat

her heart settled down enough for her to raise her fist and curse

and soon she was walking several blocks away, still clutching

that strand of tinsel wondering how she would explain to all

her ex-boyfriends that it was, as it turns out, they who never

were.