buried in email chit-chat
a last surviving aunt has died

an old lady's handkerchiefs
folded in a drawer

strata of tilted rock
where semis crawl up the gradesaxifrage contending
with snow, ice, freeze and thaw
in pitiable crevices

your back to the cold wind.
a bus turns the hilltop corner
comes your way

steady, public, majestic
acknowledging your presence
with blinking yellow lights

warmth of strangers
“hum of your valved voice”
a place out of the world's
mean weather

About the Author: John Palen's short fiction collection, Small Economies, was published in January 2012 by Mayapple Press. His poetry has appeared recently in Gulf Stream, Prick of the Spindle, Jelly Bucket, and Clapboard House. He reviews literary magazines for New Pages and blogs about poetry and fiction at Midwest Writer, www.johnpalensblog.blogspot.com