Winter Walk is a poem I wrote for the poetry assignment on the Open University Advanced Creative Writing course.
The inspiration for it came from an icy walk I took with my dogs one February morning.
Three pairs of lungs discharge vapour into the cold morning air,
parked cars display a gallery of ice art.
The village streets lie silent. Shadows our only companions, we pass by unnoticed.
Two tails synchronise with metronomic timing, wet noses uncover the night’s secrets.
The air is pure, unspoiled by traffic; we breathe deep and expel clean exhaust.
A lace-draped hedge shows off designer bling, a naked elm tree sulks nearby.
An unseen car door slams, engine whines twice, and dies.
Two heads tilt. The sounds are acknowledged, then forgotten.
A scent excites, leads are tight, a secret is discovered, a fox’s run?
In skeletal trees the dawn chorus awaits the conductors signal while
a warming sky bleeds red and gold. Street lamps cede to its majesty.
Curtains are drawn in upstairs rooms, cats call, demanding entry.
Stan’s corner shop awakes with blazing light.
Two bolts are drawn, the blind is raised. A small bell rings welcome.
Dogs wait impatiently. Stan appears armed with smiles and treats.
Warm engine ticks, stringed bundles drop, delivering news.
With folded headlines tucked away and wagging tails
we turn for home. The streets still quiet, we pass by unnoticed.