Last Light: For the Winter Solstice

On the shortest day, I walked down to
            the garden where, stretched out across
                        the grass, the out-turned
                                    fingers of
                        peace received
                                    the night soon here.
 
Vestigial glow bedecked the trees
            and roof-tops sank, the light soon gone.
                        In the evening cool the
                                    streets were
                        softly swept
                                    by homeward feet.
 
But I had left my home to see the light;
            I traced its steps from pallid green
                        treetops to underpass
                                    and marvelled at
                        its retreat
                                    and dusk’s perfect lull.
 
Pink clouds settled to evening grey, yet
            the story was not sad: the day
                        was gift, was treasure.
                                    And how glorious!
                        how perfectly bright the light
                                    set against the dark.

Winter came

            unnoticed; we
thought it had arrived.
 
            The subtle lull
                        of autumn tricked us
            with its need for cardigans
                        and leaves aesthetically arranged
                                    on garden floors and streets.
 
We thought the worst had come,
            forgot
                        how true cold feels
            on toes.
                       And now:
            the need for scarves
                        in bags (in case)
            and duffle coats;
the huddled walk
            of chilling feet
                        and all the proud offense of those
            who do not know the cold.
 
Father hands:
            please keep us warm.
The winter does not sit with us.
                        And strengthen mumbling
            grumbling minds
                        to take the worst
            that comes.