A Late Winter Evening

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A late winter evening

silence falling

with frost ghostly

on roads wet, cold, empty

pit-a-pat

unceasing.

Mist on my window panes

hazy, scary, uneasy

time, hungry, lies crouching

outside,

but for the comforting tick-tock

of the old wall-clock

that keeps a different time

inside.

 

Wooden doors, glass windows, thick curtains all drawn,

the dull yellow glow of my room lamp warm,

carpet below my feet soft.

 

A room heater glows ruddy

cheerful and busy,

a glowing ember

stolen from the sun,

one day –

larky, flappy, sunny and blue skied,

long-long ago.

Gurgles like water,

steaming and bubbling,

kept on stove at my grandma’s

for long evening teas

when life was a long winter vacation homely

. . . long-long ago.

 

Wisps of vapour

curling out of the red-tea

in my big mug

languorously,

two biscuits of Marie, lightly sweet,

A reward for one more day-long battle against time

so bitter, so challenging, so scary.

 

One more nameless day,

Of the thousands more

that I want to live

before I bid good-bye

(hungry me!)

with it’s nameless battles, toils, heartbreaks over,

contused but unconquered

I sit –

recollecting, reconnecting, releafing,

listening to the frost falling on my window panes

pitapat unending,

I sit –

on the armchair aging with me

curled up in my old shawl

that still smells of warm winters at my grandma’s

when life was a long long winter vacation – unending.

 

The child who never knew

of the future battles

fast approaching

that she would choose to fight,

long after life ceased to be a vacation

lilaced and larky;

and of the winter evenings

she would snatch away

from the clutches of time

that would lie

all night

crouching, waiting, hungry outside

while she releafed and healed inside

and the old clock chimed a time

that would live –

sunny, lilaced, larky, flappy, and blue-skied,

a long time hence.

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