First Snow

Whose is this long, unexpected elbow
Resting its white sleeve on the wall?
Is anyone out there when I call
To hear my voice? I’ve lost my echo.

Whose are those feathery tears that keep coming?
Somebody weeps without a sound
And leves his grief heaped up on the ground.
It’s so quiet my ears are drumming.

Whose is that handkerchief on the gatepost
Large enough for a giant sneeze?
Bless you whisper the shivering trees
While I just stand here like a ghost.

Who am I? And where have I woken?
It wasn’t the same when I went to bed.
I still feel me inside my head
Though now a different language is spoken.

Suddenly all the meanings have gone.
Is someone trying to tell me something?
A bird shakes silver dust from its wing
And the sky goes on and on and on.

Copyright: from Back to Midnight (Puffin, 1994) first published in The Mad Parrot’s Countdown (Peterloo, 1990) © John Mole 1990, used by permission of the author

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Rhythm is at the heart of the ways in which John grabs us and brings us along as he tells stories about family, school, history and all ...

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