This is a poem, I think, about the end of a stage of looking after children when they've grown up and gone away. It's called 'Nobody'.


If you can’t bring yourself to build
a snowman or even to clench
a snowball or two to fling
at the pine tree trunk, at least
find some reason to take you out

of yourself: scrape a patch of grass clear
for the birds maybe; prod at your shrubs
so they shake off the weight, straighten up;
or just stump about leaving prints
of your boots, your breath steaming out.

Promise. Don’t let yourself in
for this moment again: the end
of the afternoon, drawing the curtains
on the glare of the garden, a whole
day of snow nobody’s trodden.

from The Man Alone: New and Selected Poems (Smith Doorstop, 2008), first published in Permission to Breathe (Smith Doorstop, 2001), Michael Laskey 2001, used by permission of the author and The Poetry Business.

Michael Laskey in the Poetry Store

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