Midnight Calm

Treading softly
Turning the latch
An icy shaft blows in.
Outside, a crunch underfoot,
Peering into the silent blizzard
Effortlessly cascading
Beneath amber street-lamps,
A scene from a story of make believe form,
I pull my coat tighter,
Blinking into the snowflake tips
That prick my face,
And edge down the street.

A static coat of arms,
Frosted windows,
Tudor beams,
Parked cars entombed in snow –
Calm rings out as black clouds shift above.
If I listen hard enough I can hear the calm elsewhere –
The fluorescent entrance lights of the hospital
Behind me
Hiding the sleepy wards of old and young,
Lost in their dreams of tomorrow,
Silently walking with me
Feeling the life in their fingertips.
The nourishment of movement!

In the eerie quiet of this moment others
Lie ready
To ease out of life.
The brush of pillow on their cheek,
A final revelatory sensation
Diminishing ebb
Of pulse and current,
Minutes become seconds become darkness.
Inhabiting this new paradigm
I feel for my keys,
Their serrated edges temporarily
Escape me back to the confines of
My familiar.
I click the kettle switch and
Read each word of the last holiday postcard,
Holding onto the fridge corner to steady myself.

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