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1. It Was Winter Last We Spoke

It was winter last we spoke
and everywhere I looked
it seemed snowflakes were falling.

“Another year has ended,” you said,
“once again
another year older,”

and everywhere I listened
hoping you were calling,
there was only snow and static

and all of this, falling
after footprints long since colder than the frost on pavements
and the quiet city sprawling.

“Another year has turned
and in this landscape sparse with friends
it cannot get much colder.

“The trees with lights
are only in other people’s windows,
only silent nights

“with carol singers
at other people’s doors,
and skeleton footsteps heading onwards.”

So on days like these I find myself
by tracing backwards
from the plastic life of single servings

and disposable wrappers,
to reach a point where you and I
glanced upwards at the stars and said,

“This is what happens
all around us,”
or rather, that is what you said

I lack the words
but nodded back and knew that you had captured
all that mattered;

I lacked the vision to see beyond
what I could touch or taste
and did not memorise,

So I do not recall any of this
except in patchy moments
when I wake from sleep

and rub the dreams from the corners of my eyes

(extract from chapter 1 of ‘Plastic Life‘, a short story in verse)

© 2018 Giles L. Turnbull · All rights reserved

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