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  You could have a big dipper   

Buddy System by Lynne Schmidt

When the snow gets deep

the rule is

if you chose to go into the trees

you stay within eyesight of your buddy.

And so we go,

eyesight like holding hands

existing in a wonderland together.

We careen around trees like car accidents

near misses and drunken nights.

For once I keep up.

Which is funny,

because the race ended three years ago.

The idea of the buddy system is that if you disappear

under a fresh drift

your buddy digs you out

on their hands and knees

while you wait for oxygen.

I have been waiting for him to give me permission to breathe

since we met

and he stole all the air in the universe.

He falls.

I wait several moments to ensure he can get up.

He does, he brushes himself off.

He stands as tall as trees

and I am careful to not come closer

than eyesight.

At the bottom of the mountain,

he calls her.

When she asks if he was alone

he looks at me

and says yes.


Lynne Schmidt is the winner of the 2020 New Women's Voices Contest and author of Dead Dog Poems, Gravity, and On Becoming a Role Model. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans. Twitter: @LynneSchmidt

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