June 30, 2023

I did not know the world could be beautiful in winter

without snow.


Here, the iceless fields emit

a golden hue, somehow alive in death.

The air carries an aftertaste of fall,

not yet tainted by spring’s sweet flowers,

and the bare branches whisked by wind

seem to be singing.


At first, it is a hollow sound,

of shivering, of death,

of loss of leaves, of nakedness,

and I remember why

no one celebrates winter.


But with my eyes closed, the cold air melts

over my skin and clothes, like seawater,

and the tree song becomes whale song,


the trees themselves are whales,

singing for the lost

             lost friends

             lost mothers

singing for the new

             new friends

             new lovers.


This winter is snowless–

Blue and golden and warm

as the tree-whales ask:


Where is my friend,

my mother, my lover?

What happened to the leaves that used to clothe me?


And how is the world still beautiful

without them?


Darby Brown is an emerging writer and poet from Nashville, TN. She has recently completed her MA in creative writing at the University of Birmingham in England and now lives in London where she continues to fall in love with the way words and stories can lead us toward a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In addition to being a monthly contributor for HYW, she serves as an editorial intern. Follow her on Instagram @darbybrownwrites.

Featured image by İrem azra Topcu on Pexels