Artwork: Sheena Clover
Dog walk on Christmas day
First light, there is the sunrise;
a thin lip of white, warming to colour
in the grey lane. And my dog knows
no difference between this day
and any other. The sheep rumble
in their woolly world, or lay
like granite ghosts along the hedgerows
and the stars fade to blue in a sky
pink enough to warn shepherds.
On main street the delicate magic
of Christmas lights blink against
a new dawn. The village Christmas tree
bows gently in the breeze. The pub
and church are sleeping still,
but some houses are waking,
some children are up, some parents
are bleary, bolstered by coffee.
Other dog walkers raise a gloved hand,
touch their hats, smile and wish
the Christmas day upon us. Any ill will
is drained away with the dark. It is like
love being passed hand to hand in a relay.
This morning I will pass the baton on,
in the lane, in the village, in my home,
where we enter the mulled warm
of heating and electric light. And I will
think of the way all new born babies
born today will blink awake and draw
in the world with no knowledge
of darkness only light and love.