Light is fading fast above dark smouldering clouds, night falls now over my lonesome home.
Darkness seeps, first from low shadows, then creeps higher, rising to merge with that falling from above
The grass, shimmers, brittle with the first slick shining gems of descending frost
The air vibrates with burning needles that stings exposed cheek and forehead
At my feet the dog fidgets and pulls, his ruff erect, too much sound assaults his ear  

He leaps and lunges, barking, until I slip his leash. High stepping, his paws tender from the stinging cold
He runs on ahead as I fix the chain, the sound of steel on iron, musical in the static air 
Shock of cold as glove warmed hands burn on the freezing galvanise
The sound of distant traffic carries crisp on the silent charged ozone of a dying day.
As quickening breath comes in steaming clouds, that fogs at once, in the growing gloom.
I turn towards home and the promise of warmth
Underfoot the morning’s muddy lane, crunches now, dry and crisp under hardening icy glaze
And glistening surfaces over the puddles of a few hours past, shatter under booted foot
Milk white cracks and shatter lines. Clean above the murky slime below 

Chill air burns in throat and gasping lungs, scarf is quickly wrapped from chest to cold pinched tearing eye
Rising moist warm air from deep within, soaks the wool and dampens jutting chin
Ahead now, the house, bright gable stands, etched clear and stark against the fading evening sky
Smoke rising straight and high, the promise of a warming fire.
And on the step the dog waits, the magic of the frosted world so wonderful to me, lost on him who really doesn’t care

© Dave Kavanagh @


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