This morning waking up winter cold
I witness the white morning.
Stilled in the sharp sunshine the sky crackles.
The sleeping trees creak quietly under
a sigh of snow, thus. And the children,
stunned by frost-edged windows, wonder how
the ice-etched glass mimics here estuaries,
there flowers, here stings fingers.
Very soon it's down dancing into
the garden dazed by the from nowhere
world turned inside out; outside, a miracle
whiter than wool would ever be. Halloo,
they holler hunting whose first to fall,
who's silly with snowballs whizzing past
this way and which way and no, that way…
"Oh here, stop!", I said, and Harry - gone
head over heels - dives down into the
arms of the ground to lie there laughing
'til, at tea-time, the sky suddenly
shuts down: before we know why, the light's
put up all its shutters sending us
shivering but gay slowly towards home.
There soon, safer than storms outside are,
we're kings at table watching Wencelas
beating the blizzard outward. How
he goes - after the games and songs have
exhausted all happy - trudging
tirelessly beyond night-time. For
while more mortal men make their way
wearily up the long stairs to sleep,
Wencelas would open his house to
any man, would turn out a corner
in his smiling mind to house there
the lost snowman the children left behind,
lonely in the long shadows cast
from the house in the dark garden.
(First published in 'Through the Looking Glass': Brimstone Press 2010)