Recapturing: Almscliffe Crag

Recapturing: Almscliffe Crag

Muddy boots, the sign of a good adventure

breeze-dried to my jeans.

It’s Christmas, and anyone who knows lonely

will know how much this means

to have hands to pull you up.

The wind gives me time to steady my feet,

mist lingering in earnest to softly kiss my cheeks

with afternoon colours, greys and greens and blues

and we could be on top of the world.

Now, more than ever,

I understand nature’s lesson;

a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Dream Wrapping

Dream Wrapping

Opening the card, it reads

‘Happy Christmas, love Santa’,

by double figures, means

‘It’s Christmas, from Mum and Dad’,

declining to seventeen’s

‘Christmas. Mum.’

And you were what was left

of pass the parcel,

layers peeled away,

and in all the excitement

of what you could have been

they saw not what you were,

the suspicious package

in a neglected nativity scene.

Left wrapped

to re-use next Christmas,

left wrapped

to keep warm in winter,

to dress the body modest,

or just for a while,

to stabilise the bones

bubble-wrapped in a box marked ‘FRAGILE’

then set alight to smoke,

breathing in the sticky sweet tobacco,

vacuum-packed for a fresher death,

the little matchstick girl

takes her last breath

and wakes up,

wrapped in your arms.