Grey Turned White


Kendal stands on an ice cap now.

As we stagger, slip and slide,

Shielding watering eyes from the blinding-

Bright Sun with gloved hands

The frozen land beneath us creaks and cracks like bone,

As if we’re walking across ribcages;

As if we’re all weary Shackletons, dragging sleds

Towards the pole; as if Narnia’s Snow Queen

Cursed our Auld Grey Town for daring to

Challenge her latest decree.

For those of us who have to work, who need

To creep out of our homes at dawn to earn

The tithes and taxes we pay the Powers That Be

To leave our drives and paths untouched by grit

Or salt, the novelty has now gone, replaced

By a primal fear of falling, of shattering a wrist

Or wrenching a twisted knee. But Three weeks

After the first fat flakes fluttered silently

From the sky the children are still wide-eyed

With wonder, wandering around with smiles

Wider than the Kent, hell-bent on finding

The deepest dumps of untouched snow.

Wellies crumping through the icy crust,

Blindly trusting in their youth to keep them safe,

This is a glorious Wonderland, where snowmen stand

In every garden and White is always Right.

© Stuart Atkinson 2010

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