Manitoba Rituals

It was a winter of muted wolves
and colorless owls without voice.

We spent those first few months together
in an apartment with occasional heat, sporadic electricity.

Puddles of wax appeared in dark corners;
sometimes we burned the books we’d just read.


No one else will share the story of the squirrel frozen
to the back railing which we slowly warmed back to life

or how we managed to steal a trickle of vitality
from the highest sphere above the northern world.




We had little, but felt like we owned so much,
inclined toward motifs of capricious impulse

until the fires of our branding cooled and glazed,
the quietness of the night sky broken into silence.

What goes unsaid in darkness is so often
everything that could possibly matter.


by Richard King Perkins II       |     photography from Alicia Krawchuk       |    Featured Image by Kristin Soh

Richard King Perkins II

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.