Friday, 25 December 2009

Winter Angel

I have been told, I have been told,
that this year
the snow over there,
over the seas, across the Occidental line,
(that is to say: where you are),
is maddening—
Overwhelming in its purity and ferocious in its zeal to cover,
cover every branch, roof, pavement, street and red postbox
with blankets of blinding white.
Just as once you rushed to cover me,
all of me—every curve and bump and hole and crack.

How I wish I could walk across ice and time to see
this greeting card scenery
with you smiling in it.
To smell again the sweet cinnamon and ginger
wafting from your oven,
as you stir lazily the grey granules which turn to thick brown gravy.
I wish I could just add water too,
to dilute the pauses and commas and semicolons and periods between us.

I wish I could sail to you in a raft of cinnamon sticks,
to see your breath condense in the cold air,
as you rub your cheek on my arms,
as I play with your hair,
while we wait for the cow-shaped timer to ring,
heralding the doneness of the cookies
we are too full to eat after the roast bird.

Yet I am here now,
over the seas, in the Orient,
with no snow,
but I have instead warm, humid rain,
and some places with poor taste
have white spray for their plastic firs,
or worse, cotton.
No snow, rain, cotton, too many memories,
and just enough revelations.

Because while snowflakes fall on your roof,
thoughts and raindrops fall on me—
I now realise
that I will always want to see your breath in the cold
more than you will ever want to see me sweat here,
in this steaming, sticky peninsular.

I longed for the smiles you gave me,
but I now finally see
that those smiles were given many winters ago,
and I have used them for longer than you intended.

Surely some new boy has your cheek on his shoulder,
Surely you two are looking out the window at the flurrying powder,
waiting for the timer to ring...
Surely, I am not meant to know.
Surely, even if there is no such boy, your thoughts are not of me.
Surely, it does not matter either way anyway.

What once was but is no longer,
should not matter anymore,
cannot matter anymore,
no matter how I will it to.
I know better now,
and I suppose, it's better that I know.

I am nonetheless content with the assurance,
that while it mattered,
it was real,
as real as the snow I can only hear about.
How could it have been anything else?

But now,
as surely as the snow will thaw to wet,
I will let loose those days to dissolve,
save but for a feather of yours to remind me
that it was good while it was good,
but now,
I should waste no more time,
and begin to look for new wings to fly with,
or perhaps grow some of my own.


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