Two strange women whisper through a cloud 
of baby’s breath, their lips the creased 
petals of poinsettias, their voices muffled 
in a thick Mississippi drawl. 

They pile jelly doughnuts carelessly
on their plates, their polyester blouses
freckled with white tears of powdered sugar. 

While they smile behind their napkins 
I think of your startled body glowing 
in the bruised light of the Bogue Falaya.

I watch them gossip over coffee, 
listen to their remarks fall 
unexpectedly 
like the snow outside.

  * originally published in Half Tones to Jubilee