The dirt, brown thorns peel off the stem

of the flower,

the red rose bud drooping in the

gathering cold.

The bush didn’t last long.

Neither will we.


Inside our brick house, the fireplace dims.

My sisters gather closer to it.

I’m the strong sister.

I’m the one who does without.


My sisters believe our parents will come back

for us.

They left to get help.

The nearest settlement is fifty miles.

If they made it,

they won’t make it back.


“We need to gather more food.” I say this everyday.

“When can we rest?” the youngest sister (fifteen) asks.

“When winter wins.”

The girls listen to me, for now.

We move easily in the frigid air, for now.

There’s four warm bodies trying to fight the cold, for now.


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