365 Poems/94 Twenty Five Minutes From Home (Rough First Draft)

Twenty Five Minutes From Home

 

The Inuit say

that if it’s cold enough,

words will freeze in the air,

and not reach the ears of those

who need to hear them,

until the spring melt.

 

I’ve used up all the paper

I could find in my handbag.

A few receipts and post it notes

inked with ‘Soya milk, lysine, Ketchup.’

 

I hope the Inuit are right.

There’s so much I want you

and your Dad to know.

 

I wound down the window,

then panicked in case I shouted

into the dark for too long, and it would

refuse to budge back up again.

 

I’d love to be able to bake you

the baklava you first tasted

in Kefalonia.

 

I bought the ingredients last week,

and hid them. I was planning

on doing it this Friday, for when

you got home from school.

 

The last question you asked me

was if polar bears would survive

a move to Antarctica. I said if they did

they’d demolish the penguin population

 

I expected you to flinch at this,

but you didn’t. You nodded,

and said ‘good job nobody has tried it then.’

 

It’s ironic that just hours ago,

we were watching the snow fall

after turning off all the lights

and electrical appliances in the house.

 

I was as excited as you were.

My fingertip prints were still

on the glass a few hours later.

 

The carton of semi-skimmed milk

has started to turn into slush. I shake it.

It sounds like river ice breaking up.

 

I should have saved some of that meal deal

from Boots. I wasn’t even that hungry.

 

I can hear myself breathe. It crackles.

Clouds gather around my mouth.

 

At times in life, I found little pieces if misery,

but built them up until they were everything.

I shouldn’t have put the bar too high.

I didn’t need to.

 

I didn’t know until now, how quietly

snow can consume everything.

 

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