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3

and listen, the moon didn’t want

to be folded up, even if it was what

the world wanted, even if there was

no light left to lift the gloom

in jiggers and ginnels, how when all

this was happening it was winter,

a wounded winter, one proper

wrecked by the tight hold of ice

or maybe I forget, or fantasise,

maybe it was a mild winter like the last one,

warmer than summer even

and ice was water like it had never

had the chance to freeze and fell

instead to drain away,

that was it, when all this was happening

with the moon shutting down,

it was winter, the mildest on record,

and I dwelt with her though she isn’t part of this,

how I dwelt with her and the austerity of it all,

how someone else was writing up all the austerity,

making flowers of it, no, not flowers,

someone else who hadn’t felt the chill,

even for a minute, even a slither of proper

winter, was writing about bare cupboards, bare pockets,

about standing in a pub and handing

over pennies for a half, even that’s cackhanded,

the thirst to sup, you can’t write

that into the zeitgeist, and all of this,

the moon’s end, the austerities,

the faraway kids all knackered

with the weight of it, the weight of

a darkened moon, the weight of

darkened days, and all of this was

a winter ago, or a winter away,

and even if you wanted exile, even if you

craved it, there were no paths leading that way,

even icy paths, iced over paths, how some paths

are heated from below so they never ice over

and have that as the crux of it all,

heat the world from below,

heat the moon from below,

heat the kids from below,

and none of it will darken

or grow dull, over worn jeans

and worn away knees

and all of this was happening in a winter

when icicles, just coaxed to drop

with a knife, just lightly pushed

against, were falling all about, how icicles

were constant all over England, how

there were only two conclusions;

that all the land was a shower

and a scum lay upon it or

how there was glee enough

and scorn for glee

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About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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