September 2022

Back to Issue 12

Coming upon a winter festival

By Ross Jackson


you’d been blown into a little town

compressed into smaller and smaller streets

ingested into congested lungs

of a dingy mall

where you trailed between


lopsided storefronts

a part of the desultory

human traffic 

diverted either side 

of tables of scents and preserves


perhaps the council had organised

for that model to pose

on the central stage 

a local photographer 

to take shots at the level

of her calf length, fur lined boots


in a shrubby street corner

untidy with smokers

a busker’s song being spurned 

you stayed for far too long

and shared this hole 

with whatever blues the guitar played 


until neck chilled by

raindrops dripping off bits

of sagging trees 

you walked off, not knowing then

how much of this 


would make you flinch 

remembered so far away

in time

how lasting coldness

may make you burn