This year? A cloak, weighted by rain –

fingers fumbling at clasp in desperation to  

Garrotte woven of failures and fears
no more steps can she make; so shrinking, sinking into loam
perhaps smallness will loosen the choke. Small of voice,
of body, of bone. The marrow aches in protest (just one more,
catalogued with the rest). 
Hope is a ghost-whisper, a wight in her ear, fighting to claw heart-parapets 
to dust (a thing she is certain she must not allow – 
and how could she, when that bitch is what brought

Sullen anger hums in the base of her brain, plasters a 
“smile” over rictus; spits water that’s been sieving thru too-cold teeth. 
Forces fingers to try, try again.