“May your days be merry!”
she called
Gloom fell in the distance,
darkened her heart where
she hadn’t invited it,
but the opportunities zeroed
and her resistance went unnoticed.

“…and bright…”
fell to the ground–
these last two words.
Her heart couldn’t choke.
Physically, it couldn’t.
Yet it still felt the sinew
wind around each valve
wind around each moment
of laughter until time struck
the wall and all the emotions
shattered blue porcelain dolphins
to reveal fragments of the past.
Her Christmas’ past.
A photograph where her smile
was real
and the dolphin figurines, whole.