According to the national forecast, we are to have snow showers today. Here's hoping!
White Christmas - Simon Armitage
For once it is a White Christmas,
so white that the roads are impassable
and my wife is snowbound
in a town untroubled by tractor or snowplough.
In bed, awake, alone. She calls
and we pass on our presents by telephone.
Mine is a watch, the very one
I would have chosen. Hers is a song,
the one with the line Here come the hills of time
and it sits in its sleeve,
unsung and unopened. But the dog downstairs
is worrying, gnawing, howling,
so I walk her through clean snow
along the tow-path to the boat-house at a steady pace,
then to my parents' place
where my Mother is Marie Curie, in the kitchen
discovering radium, and my Father is Fred Flintstone,
and a guest from the past has a look on her face meaning
lie and I'll have your teeth for a necklace, boy,
your eyeballs for earrings,
your bullshit for breakfast,
and my two-year-old niece is the baby Jesus,
passing between us with the fruit of the earth
and the light of the world - Christingle - a blood orange
spiked with a burning candle.
We eat, but the dog begs at the table,
drinks from the toilet, sings in the cellar.
Only baby Jesus wanders with me down the stairs
with a shank of meat to see her, to feed her.
Later, when I stand to leave
my Father wants to shake me by the hand
but my arms are heavy, made of base metal,
and the dog wants to take me down the back lane, back
to an empty house again. A car goes by
with my sister inside
and to wave goodnight
she lifts the arm of the sleeping infant Christ,
but I turn my wrist to notice the time. There and then
I'm the man in the joke, the man in a world of friends
where all the clocks are stopped,
synchronising his own watch.