The year passed from fire to smoke

As she sipped her tea

And wondered

Where and when

The next would carry her—

Ferry her

The way ashes fly up and

Out of sight.



“Beauty for ashes,”

She whispered

Into her mug

Where ginger and lemon

Twirled the way children do

Laughing and swaying

Before falling to the ground.



Outside, she heard voices grumbling

Condescending the number

Twenty Sixteen

And the moments and the feelings—

She thought about getting in the mud but

She chose silence, instead

Because she wondered,

“Isn’t this just life?”



People criticizing everyone

From the top to the bottom

From side to side

Between families and friends and lovers—

It changed nothing

But only made the world anxious . . .



And lonely—

She wanted to sing

A song about coming together

A melody about the ways in which

The darkness ebbs and flows

And no one knows exactly how

Or why—

But the light always remains.



She wanted to hum a refrain

With the intention of—

An interjection of


Those notes that fall

From the beaks of birds and

Fly from the mouths of

Those dizzy children she remembered




She wanted someone to hear

And maybe even

Sing along.



She dreamed of someone

Who could share the puzzle

Work to find the picture

That was complete—

Maybe dusty with history and

Muddy with the bare feet of




But whole

And dirty

And beautiful and

Boring and

Adventurous and

The opposite of isolated—



The same as together

But closer to One

Not the same

But hand in hand

If not possessing a single mind

At least seizing the chance to




The time passed slowly

As she smelled the seconds go—

Like the scent left by a wick

Newly extinguished

Growing cold

And she watched the past

Flitter away

And enjoyed the moment

And the future



copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: German artist Mark Slavin‘s piece, The Soul.  To view more of Slavin’s work please visit his Facebook page or website: Slavin’s Facebook Page , Slavin’s Website