White slides to clear, translates late morning.
The milk of mist slides at sky’s end
to clefted heaps of snow: they shift,
blot into pavements where pocks
of lichen splay, greening the day.
I leave the cups and bowls,
their fatty film, the taste of yesterday,
and peer to oversee the fidgety school gate
open, shut open, shut open, watch it
release a knot-haired child in straggly socks,
a woman who locks her lips against more cold.
Behind them, the mossy wall, where thin leaks of ice seep
into sodden turf, bear down on hair-thin snowdrop shoots.
The gate flaps once, relinquishes the latch.
Then the horizon deepens, wind whistles down, drives
into the flurry a coven of crows: they glide
into the marbled trees.
I inhale the wait, I sniff
the faint, inky, sleek procrastination of falling cloud
slant-mirrored on the scratched steel sink.
Sarah Crisp, Long Winter, Copywright Sarah Crisp 2015
Sarah Crisp exhibited as part of the group show ‘Outing Ageing’ and with her solo show ‘Scene’ in 2014