Ancient of Days

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Suddenly the leaves change, and I am ancient and a child
all at once, grasping their fiery, brittle bodies
between my fingers too tightly until they crumble.
Everything that ever has been or ever will be
laid to waste in my hands.

Do you remember last October
(or any October, all of them),
when we sat underneath a full moon and you
(or anyone—you could have been anyone)
told me it would be like this forever?
Like a child, I believed you. Like an old saint,
I knew I would love you even if you were lying.
And so I chose to believe you, like a child.

Everything that has been or ever will be
sits incarnate on the brim of the chill of the air,
so fragile, so impenetrable—a phantom,
and yet it hangs there, eternal.

I will spend all my Octobers believing you.

Originally from upstate South Carolina, Mary Shelley Reid is a queer writer and seminarian currently residing in Princeton, New Jersey, where she is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. Reid also hold a B.A. from Furman University in Creative Writing and Religion. She is particularly interested in the intersection of poetry, spirituality, and identity, which is reflected in the pieces I’ve chosen to submit to Novus.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN