Rob Vance

Winter Run

Frozen breath clouds up then passes by cheeks; frozen leaves beneath give off the soft crunch of an open mouth chewing a bit of apple. The charcoal-colored crow caws on the right, a troubled voice; the only speaker this morning under the canopy of branches. The runner barely sees through the breath cloud wrapping around head, neck and shoulders, a white basket, a nest. Running faster now. Feeling the way with outstretched fingers in the moist air. Rocks ahead streaked with wet, dark lines like feathers left behind. Then cut stumps appear, bright with flowing sap, jut from fallen, frost-bitten leaves; the stump’s wood grain like some great set of prints mark the trail of some large and thumb-less, lumbering thing; it had laid here for the night; its rancid smell still lingering in the air; that dark thing, half beast or flightless bird shook off sleep only moments before. It runs this path too, its cold breath and dark feathers left behind.

Author Portrait

Rob Vance is a full-time digital designer, and a part-time poetry editor. His current projects include an illustrated book of prose poems. Rob has published poems in the Dominion Review, Chants, James River Review, and Small Pond Magazine. Presently he resides in Richmond, Virginia, with his life partner and two cats.