A Winter's Day

- jan-u-wine

Companion piece to River-dawn

Never is the day
 
bitter
with cold,
 
here.
 
Even so,
I remember such days,
 
raw with searching wind,
blank and silent
 
the great burden of snow
in steps and mounds
 
and furrows upon the ground,
 
the river,
silenced at last,
 
(though it may have sung,
just a little,
 
its water-blood still gold-green
beneath a crystalline cloak)

 
held fast
within the forbidding arms
of dirt-iced banks.
 
We cared not
for the river, then,
 
nor the wind's fingers,
 
tapping upon the window-glass,
creeping and gusting down the long tunnel
 
of the chimney.
 
Safe we were,
the bitterness without,
 
safe
and warm,
 
Da holding me upon the chair
of his lap,
 
his voice finding dragons
within the hearth-fire,
 
fingers
magiking
a silver farthing
from the narrow
hollow of my ear.
 
Mumma made chocolate for us,
on those days,
 
the dark richness of it
a warm fog within the kitchen,
 
the silver pot stout and small
beside its larger cousin,
 
a faint cinammon-dusk smell
mingling with the deep-earth scent of the chocolate.
 
I always thought of Oliphaunts then,
and places far away,
 
places where there never was snow,
 
places where the sun shone,
no matter the hour,
 
places where
dragons were born and spread
wings of horn and gold-bronze
 
and flew in cloudless skies.
 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  *
After a very long while,
only the small light of the fire
stayed within the room,
 
and Mumma would hold me,
my head tucked against the soft
 
white
of her neck,
the beating of her heart
 
slow and sure
against my side.
 
And that was all,
 
all,
 
her arms holding me,
and
 
Da's voice quiet
in an end-of-day
story.
 
That was my world,
 
entire:
 
a world
of bitter cold
and ever-so-sweet
 
warm.



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