Jan in the snow


It is snowing thick and fast on this lonely Thursday afternoon, and I miss you.

Snow lines the rooftops of red brick houses, white against an even whiter sky.


Trees spread their charcoal branches, thumb smudged on the stark winter page.

Children play, throwing snowballs. I hear their laughter through the frozen


window pane and I remember when we were both about nine, you

in your blue duffle and bobble hat. I was wearing a red hooded coat


throwing snowballs in the park, until our fingers were numb and our feet felt like blocks of ice in our wellingtons. Remember, the school bus got stuck


half way up the bank, the bus driver saying, it’s no use, you’ll have to get off.

A whole day of no school, making a snowmen until after dark,


two lumps of coal for eyes, orange peel for a mouth that you turned upside down

to make a frown, a stick for a nose because Mam said no when you asked for a carrot.


Food doesn’t grow on trees, she chased you out of the kitchen, cuffing you

around the head until your ears went red. You cried like a baby.


We loved every crystalline flake of it. The next day it melted away.

You stood disappointed in the blackened slush, shouting, no, no, no.





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