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Elodie Rose Barnes: a poem

Christmas on Orion

Tell me a story.

A story from long ago.

It's difficult, no longer having the words

for Yule log, mistletoe, bauble

without knowing how to describe snow,

or what the flames were like that leapt from the grate

holding stags and fauns and winter nymphs

in their arms, while outside

a swift blanket of frost

covered the darkness

without knowing how to say that the nights were long

but never entirely black

or how to describe the candles

so many candles

fires in miniature

how to say the word flame

when fire no longer exists?

I point to the earth and say

once upon a time

and you say yes

a story

like that from long ago

Elodie Barnes is a poet, reviewer and essayist. She can be found writing in Paris, Spain or the UK (usually mixing up her languages), and is guest editor of the Life in Languages series at Lucy Writers’ Platform. Find her online at and on Twitter here: @BarnesElodie


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