But your fleece was so warm, that day in the snow. You lay unalarmed by all the children in large school buses, passing so quickly, voices just whispers behind frozen glass. A halo of red growing your size.
End of January, streets wearing a chill and dressing the sidewalks in white. I remember it like yesterday, your heart zipping under polka dots, the warmth of breath as I kissed your cheek.
Strangers shaking small flakes from their boots. How they shook off the day with those boots. How they strapped them on every morning and lifted their chins to the brightness. Mercurial clouds hovering in the distance, not yet near.
It was on that day.
The faint smell of cocoa and hickory burning a sweet bitter; patches of bark peeling in the embers. I remember your favorite green mitten stuck between covers—a caress of dirt on its tips—and the cool winter on my face when I rushed out to hand it to you.
The dark shadow as you walked away; how it made a long silhouette of your small frame. Wet asphalt under your heels. How you ran toward the sound of tires, leaving a trail in that bleach of snow.
And I waved—looking away.
For that instant, you were warm.
Cindy Lamothe is a writer, poet, and essayist whose work has been published and is forthcoming in: Guernica Magazine, The Weeklings, The Manifest-Station, Inspiration for Mind Body, Sweatpants & Coffee, Mimosa Lotus, among others. Find her on Twitter as @CR_Lamothe or visit her at www.crlamothe.com. She currently lives in Antigua, Guatemala.
Photo credit: “Bacche Ross #4” by Giorgio Miguzzi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.