There’s a small house in the woods.
          There’s a dark room in that house.
          In a corner of that room is a table
          covered in sentiment and loss.

          I see two black candles,
          wicks yearning for a snicker of flame.
          I see a bowl filled with dried wasps,
          pencil shavings, coloured pebbles,
          filled with brittle husks of memories
          that can never be shared,
          filled with words those absent
          regret never having spoken.

          Can you sense it?
          The scent of what’s ancient.
          The rigmarole of a private altar.
          Fear mistaken for reverence.

          Can you hear the heart
          going deeper into the forest?

Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, currently studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. His work has appeared in such publications as A Swift Exit, (parenthetical), and The Scarlet Leaf Review. He received an Honorable Mention from Contemporary Verse 2’s Young Buck Poetry Awards in 2014. His work also appears on his personal blog Comment is Welcome.