It's snowing out,
Christine says,
peering through
the glass


of the window
in the locked ward.
You stand beside her,
staring at the falling flakes,


surreal, chilly, white.
I want to be out in it
like a child, she says,
not stuck in here


like some prisoner.
You can smell her scent,
near by, entering into you,
distracting you. She


presses her palms
against the glass,
breathes on it,
steams it to a small


area of invisibility.
There's a tractor out
in that field, she says,
see it? Yes, you say,


sensing her closeness,
her arm touching yours,
elbow touching elbow.
And those birds look


at them, gulls, rooks,
feeding on the churned
over ground and the snow.
You wonder why


the dick who left her
at the altar could do
such a thing, why he got
that far and then left her


there in her white dress
and flowers and a church
full of people waiting
and then not show and she,


now, stuck in here full of stress
and with a fragile mind.
I want to go out in the snow,
she says, but the nurse


ignores her, walks by,
goes on about some other
business. Why can't we
go out in the snow? she


says to you. Maybe they
think we're going to run off,
you say, watching the tractor's
slow drive, the birds flocking


behind on the ground.
She sighs, puts her hands
down from the glass, holds
them in each other, could do


with a fucking cigarette.
Hey, nurse, got a cigarette?  
Need a smoke, she says.
I got a smoke, you say,


I'll go get them. So you go
to the side room, where
the men are, and bring
your packet of cigarettes


and plastic lighter, and give
her one and light it for her
and light one for yourself,
and she inhales so deep


that she seems to stop
breathing and then exhales
up in the air, holding the
cigarette between her slim


fingers, her hand just so.
And you stand there by
the window watching the
tractor again and the falling


snow, and she's there again,
peering, smoking, sighing.
I'd not have left you at the altar,
you say, I'd not have done


it to you. She says nothing,
the smoke hitting the glass
and flowing inward again,
she gazes out, the tree tops


blanketed in whiteness,
birds in flight, you sense her,
smell her, imagine her.
I wonder who he's fucking


now? she whispers, easing
out smoke, the snow falling,
the tractor pausing, then turning
back up the field, birds following.


She inhales again, looks away,
walks back into the main ward,
her fine ass having that sway,
her white night gown like some


dowdy wedding dress, holding
tightly to her, her figure shown,
the outline of her panties showing,
blue against white. You turn and


watch the snow fall, the tractor
drive, birds in tow, your mind
blank now, white, cold as snow.


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