The night is long and oh,
so quiet, leaning down over
the farmhouse on the hillside
as it has for two hundred winters,
indifferent, crystalline.
Somewhere the Oak and Holly Kings
circle each other warily,
then bow and back away,
the only violence symbolic–
that of a cold heart—
which is violence all the same.
On this night of all nights
the stars keep their secrets,
hanging silent overhead,
withholding judgment.
This is the time of doubt, of fear,
in the longest hours when
nothing will ever be right again,
when light and warmth
will never return,
when sleep will not come
and all you can do is lie
staring beyond the frosted glass
to the skeletal arms of a tree
reaching, in vain,
for the ghostly sliver of moon.

Anne Britting Oleson has been published widely on four continents. She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM. She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007) and The Beauty of It (2010). A third chapbook, Planes and Trains and Automobiles, is forthcoming from Portent Press (UK), and a novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, is forthcoming from B Ink Publishing–both in 2015.

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One thought on “Solstice

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