Prodigal Words

We knew there were better words

to use before the parting

circuitous arcane words

words disconnected

from the shielded glances

we cast back

at the wounds

of the woods

bear traps

lay open to rust

dead stalks of willow

crowded the pond

it glistened in the breeze

white ridges over brackish green

When the deer came

we drank mulled wine

and celebrated the return

of living flesh

of life not resigned

to winter’s

bleak box of death

then we needed

prodigal words

words of betrayal and return

words of forgiveness and regret

now with the windows shut

against the cold

no words can enter

none know why

they died so young

in the breath

that birthed them

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