Late Snow

An end. Or a beginning.

Snow had fallen again and covered

the old dredge and blackened mush

with a gleaming pelt; but high up there

in the sycamore top. Thaw

Thaw, the rooks cried,

sentinel by ruined nests.


Water was slacking into runnels

from drifts and pitted snowbacks,

dripping from the gutter and ragged

icicle fringes. Snow paused

in the shining embrace of bushes,

waiting in the ledged curds and bluffs

to tumble into soft explosions.

And suddenly your absence

drove home its imperatives like frost,

and I ran to a high field

clumsily as a pregnant woman

to tread our names in blemished

brilliant drifts; because the time we have

is shrinking away like snow.

from Speaking of the Dead (Peterloo Poets, 2003), © Meg Peacocke 2003, used by permission of the author

M. R. Peacocke in the Poetry Store

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