It all begins with the cold.

A breeze a gust of wind a chill that covers her bones with frost
and turns her eyelashes to snowflakes
shivers trickling down her spine, sparking a fire in each neuron
as her vision turns white.

She searches among the twisted thorns of her heart, barren of leaves
and life and so cold, cold as ice
wandering barefoot at night trudging through piles of snow, mountains of it
trying to find shelter in a body that’s frozen in fear as she
flashes back to a warm embrace and counting breaths and feeling like home.

But the cold keeps coming and soon enough she can’t find her own thoughts
her mind disappearing faster than the snowflakes fall, dusting her hair with
glistening specks of pale white nothingness because nothing matters except
her need to feel strong again.

She is chilled to the marrow, covered in armor she forged for herself
out of heartache and darkness and seasons of abuse
and soon she’s numb to everything that ever hurt her
hardening what’s left of her heart to the drudge of living.

She’s not bitter, no. She builds herself up this time,
starting slowly and then fast fast faster until she
no longer relies on the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, lovers and leavers
who have shaped her and defined her and broken her before.

No. In the winter she molds herself out of avalanches and pines,
out of burning embers and frozen earth and wilderness
wreathing a crown of holly for her hair and adorning herself in velvet
because she deserves it.

She cloaks herself in dignity and reigns over the pain inflicted upon her
annihilating every shred of wrongness until she is whole again,
made new of her own accord.

She is her own alpha and omega. Winter is coming.
And she runs.


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