Winter for a Moment Takes the Mind
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Michelle Estile

 has worked as a tomato picker, a music teacher, a bookstore clerk, and a saxophonist. She enjoys her current work incarnation as a counseling social worker in Athens, GA. She lives in nearby Watkinsville where her many lives inform her writing.

Her work has appeared in the online magazine Six Little Things.


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You burst in full of hot laughter frosted
in the night air. Frozen stars lit the crow-wing
shine of your head. When you shook snow
from your shoulders I remembered my father.
Some nights he brought rain home in his hair.
His kisses glazed my forehead with cool shine
while I counted goosebumps into sleep.

A tiny blue spark licked from your fingers
to the doorknob. We both squealed at the snap.
As you leaned in for a kiss I thought
I smelled ozone, tasted tinsel. Shivered.

Every night since I have put on wool socks,
the green Shetland sweater you like,
and the knit cap you left behind.

I have walked heavy and slow, dragging
your absence along the carpet,
then gathering you up again with
each electric nip at the door.