The last time we saw strangers
by Christopher Hopkins
The forecast ran
off the cold-starred hills
in ice cold streams.
The Atlantic left her snows
as the fox kill feathered lea.
We watch the moorhens land
duck their coot heads
in flashes of red
into the flow of the umber spill, thick
with the chill.
Walking the towpath
dressed as December
feeling with our feet the puddle ice
You kiss the sun through the strobing trees
but I am thankful for your kisses ungreen
and the graffiti on the underpass
is in a dreaming of spring, deep
in the pale reed colours.
We move, with hitched hands
tight and bare against the cold.
We talk of the wood-burning
sing of the bitter peat sting
we’ll let the stale air out, and let the goodness in.
Off the idle haul road we come
and through the corkscrew rubus lines
we see the town’s bull colours.
The last time our eyes met with strangers
we were lost to the keen river brine.