On a Chilled Wind

Winter comes to tell us to be still,

to stand and look out windows

onto landscapes scrubbed barren

by winds that scrape away the excess,

to watch snow laid down piece by piece

on the smallest twig

as scraps of the discarded, imperfections,

are gently smoothed into graceful curves

by chills that tingle toes, crisp ears,

push us back into places

where blankets and warm drinks

invite us to sit down.


What Once Was

An old photograph,

a startling scent,

a hesitant moment

of almost recognition


draws my finger tips

to the shallow pool

of that other time,


and it’s colder

than I remember,


the liquid clutches,

pulls to stay with me

for a moment,

loses its grip and falls,

sending ripples

through the memory

of the me that once was

who knew the you

that no longer exists.


there is a place

there is a place between

awake and conscious

that is not easily torn


a place encircling

intent and movement

that clings to stillness


a place connecting

forgiving and forgetting

that slips thoughts


where we get caught

in the light of dead stars



the first sighing movements

heralding a breeze,

yielding of the night’s

warbling notes

as winter’s first tear lets go,

brush of a reach

in the womb,

sparrow caught

in an updraft,

until a waver

brings a chance

and we can, for a grasp,

feel the earth rolling


Jamie Lynn Heller


Poetry is Jamie Lynn Heller’s caffeine. She is a mother, wife, and high school counselor who gets up before the house starts to stir to write. She has pieces published or accepted at Prairie Schooner, Tule Review, The Main Street Rag, Noctua Review, Gargoyle, Earth’s Daughters, Flint Hills Review, I-70 review, Avocet, Storyteller Magazine, Little Balkans Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Diversion Press, KC Voices Magazine, KC Parent Magazine, The Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers, and many others.

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