En attendant l’hiver

The hardest 100 days

A warmth, not unwelcome,
But strange, unsettling,
Lingers in the land
Like a swallow
Uncertain of the way to Africa.

It will be gone
Soon:

I felt it on today’s descents,
The air pooling in the dips
With a graveyard-at-midnight chill.

Then the real cold will fall
Unwelcome as the big gas bill
That surely follows it
Distant but devoted
As a stray dog.

And with it will begin
The hardest hundred days:
Of thick clay dinner-plates
Stuck to boot-soles,
Wet waxed cotton and whippet-coats
Hanging in the hallway,
Bicycles brought home
Muddied like hunters,
Old cracks and wounds in finger-ends
Split open like beech-bark.

And for all its wet and weariness
There’ll never be a minute
I’d rather sit inside and watch
Than be out living in it.

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4 thoughts on “En attendant l’hiver

    • It’s felt more like winter here today, with a thick cold fog that’s lingered all day. By this time last year it had snowed heavily here: very happy to keep waiting for winter to turn up this time round!

    • I’m not one for the heat either – hence we spend our summers in Brittany, where it’s definitely not an issue!! Still only autumnal here, with a lot of fog around today; hard to believe it had already snowed this time last year. Glad you liked the piece.

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