The first of winter’s hands are shown,
the leaves under the hedge cease their
decay and are held crisp again, their
yellows and browns cold coated,
sparkle white for a time.
Smug vehicles leave tracks in the wake
of their passing, sullying the chill-air with
their sin, their poison breath billowing,
rolling and fading amongst the that
of the waking world;
Summer smiles have fallen too,
the wound bandaged by the scarves,
and turned up collars of sudden
strangers, fixed on their own path,
leaning forward to gain purchase.
The Holly bleeds an offering of dripping
red pearls, stark against its stiletto skin,
a portent, unknown to sloping schoolboys,
intent on a shared smoke;
the tip’s flare counting cancer odds.
There outside a shop, a pile of rags and
cardboard seep their last warm breath,
so very faint and quickly lost within
the steam of Latte and Mocha on the go.
And old bones will break on black squares
of slick pavement chessboards.