Winter Winds


Outside, the night has turned windy. Even through the closed window, you can hear the rasping of dry leaves in the dark and the slow creak of the unlatched backyard fence. You’re slightly feverish, energetic, immune to the cold despite the shortness of the days. A warm body lays next to you, telling you stories in the hopes that you’ll tire. You don’t, so you roll to your knees and open the window, leaning out to feel the breeze.

He joins you, and you both listen to the wind.

It’s nearing 2 a.m., but you rug up in your warm clothes. Toque, slippers. You’d wear gloves if you had gloves, but of course you never remember to buy them. Even scarves are a relatively new addition to your closet.

You both slip out the window and walk the empty street. In the distance, you see the wind pick up empty bags – little Woolworths ghosts – and a trail of leaves puffs silently into the air. You lay in the park and watch the clouds move overheard, layers of grey scurrying past one another in the dark. There’s no stars tonight, so instead you watch the smoke that escapes a factory’s chimney. The breeze sculpts it into commas and wisps until you grow cold, and in a few minutes you’re both back under covers. Neither of you close the window. There’s a lull of silence as your breaths slow and you drift into the heaviness of sleep.

In the morning light, you’ll see the neighbours’ construction knocked down. You’ll chase your dancing laundry around the backyard, and curse the wind as it glues your bike tires to the road on your way to the city. People will make small talk of the 135 km/hr gusts that swept the city overnight and flooded a nightclub, and you nod along.

But that night, you’ll keep your window cracked. You’ll fall asleep to the sound of wild wind in a sleeping world and smile.

(n.) the sound of the wind through trees.


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