The Promise of a New Year
by Mohini Malhotra

And the new year will swoop in on wings of lace
Alight on slippers dipped in moonlight
With a rain so soft it caresses the air
A snow so thick it blankets the earth and lets it rest
And us too, for a while
It will come with promise
For that is what we live on

The rain arrives as a precursor
Drops like crystal earrings, drops like slanting parallel lines
Filling the earth’s thirsty pores, the trees’ searching roots
Washing memories clean of what we wish to lose
Of this year past
The snow spreads her mantle over earth, rests her ear close to hear the      earth’s heartbeat, the
rustle of life beneath the soil

I hear it, I hear it coming—this new year
like a breath of wind, like a sigh
It arrives
And I promise to it to see the world as it asks to be seen—
Taste rain touch moss watch snow rest on tree branches listen to the      chatter of birds hidden in
Laurels and Hollies at that hour each day—
When the sun paints the bare tree barks and branches gold, outlines      clouds in neon pink and
floods the sky with fire.

Come in new year, come in.

ART: Heartfelt by Miriam Shapiro.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mohini Malhotra is an international development economist, adjunct professor, and founder of a social enterprise to promote women artists and invest in causes that better women’s and girls’ lives. She loves language and her fiction has appeared in anthologies (This is What America Looks Like, 2021, Essential Anthology, forthcoming), Gravel, West Texas Literary Review, Silver Birch Press, Blink-Ink, Flash Frontier, 82 Star Review, a Quiet Courage, and other literary journals.