Gifts from Winter
Here’s dogwood for its everlasting colour, seed heads
and hawthorn berries once used for decorating cakes.
Here’s chocolate, orange, and honey, preserving
green leaves and bees, the touch of summer on your tongue.
Here’s a lighted room, wine and soup,
the dark closed out, an evening in with friends.
Here’s the first white scape of snow and a bare
tree; the wind has bent back in a fence of frost.
Here’s slush and footsteps, boots,
and fireside reading.
Here’s memory, sleep, and returning home
on journeys in the dark of badly lit closed towns.
Here’s wool and tweed, vests, socks,
knitted hats, slowly adding another skin.
Here’s a red velvet rose, sewn from summer.
Nothing can steal its glamour, the moment it describes.
Here’s crazy fire its heat and light that burns,
Sky lantern, torch, lamps to defy the night.
Here are the stars in a remembered place
where frost is feathers, water, glass.
Here’s the world for one day silver, lit by love.
If we can still believe that story told long ago,
that innocence came on a December night,
despite the iron of snow.
Clare’s third collection, Common Ground is due to be published in November 2017. Her previous collections are The Shape of Us and Vanishing point.