It’s Always Winter When Someone Dies

                           New snow

Mother’s high heeled boots track

a path to nowhere.


                           In the coffin

she looks betrayed, as if caught

doing something she is ashamed of.




Winter in Montreal, so cold

your nostrils stick together

             on those long walks after storms.


Once Peter, lost in his own good looks

rang my doorbell to celebrate

          the first snow. I think now


it was only some romantic

version of himself that led him to my front door

          a snowflake riding his lash.





Years later he showed up after Father’s funeral,

          wearing knee high boots, smoking non-stop

declaring cancer scare a farce.


Back from the cemetery, where an old woman stood in the cold,

          palm out asking,

something for the living?


We sat on low wooden chairs in the living room

          where for years, my father slept, and drank himself

as far as he could get from my mother’s death.


So strange to be in that room, his paintings

          on the wall, brilliant and brooding,

brushstrokes as intimate as breath.

Originally from Montreal, Babo Kamel now resides in Florida. Some of her publications include Painted Bride Quarterly, Abyss & Apex, The Greensboro Review, The Grolier Poetry Prize, Contemporary Verse 2, Rust + Moth, Mobius, and 2River Review. She won The Charlotte Newberger Poetry Prize and is a two-time Pushcart nominee. Her chapbook, After, is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press.