Saturday, November 29, 2008

216. A Winter's Tale.

Memories are precious things. And some of the most poignant and precious are, in themselves, slight. This memory is slight, but it is always with me.


The play was over.
All the giggling and terrible acting were done.
We were young village girls
Performing at a neighbouring village hall.
Was it two miles from home or more?
The distance escapes me.
Does it matter?
All that matters is the stars.
That and the frost.

Transport arrived to take us home.
Some would have to 'start walking'.
(In my memory we walked all the way.)
Does it matter?
All that matters is the stars.
That and the frost.

Five of us linked arms
And started walking homewards.
We didn't speak;
We had done with laughter
And bad acting.
Were there five of us?
Does it matter?
All that matters is the stars.
That and the frost.

The memory of that night
And that walk
Is with me still.

'A Winter's Tale'
Demands snow and a full moon.
We had no moon, no snow,
No Christmas-cardy
Effulgence of night-time glory.

We had a dark blue sky,
A billion stars,
And a road fast-crisping
In the icy stillness.

The air was bitter.
Our breath billowed out,
Temporarily clouding the stars.
Branches, whitening before our eyes,
Stood stiffly,
Surely ready to snap.

We walked in unison,
Briskly, because of the cold.
One could almost say we marched.

No words were spoken,
Yet such a sense of companionship
Pervaded that night
That I remember the silence
As a meaningful conversation.

We spread out
Right across the vehicle-free road.
(This was 1947 remember!)

What a poor old 'Winter's Tale'!

No lights,
No snow,
No 'Ho! Ho! Ho!'
No holly berries
Or 'Christmas Merries'
No decorations
Or fond relations.
No carol-singing
Or present-bringing.

Except for the
Sound of flinty feet
On the fast-frosting road.

And the vision of periwinkle stars.


Cloudia said...

Your words are magical & evocative!
Now your memory is also ours. thank you very much for that.
Aloha from Waikiki-

lilly said...

Beautiful imagery.

Anonymous said...

I do believe I see a couple of constellations among those stars - make the photo larger and you will see that you were not alone! Anonymous

Lucy said...

oh how musically delightful this was to read. It really reads like a song.. I especially loved... no lights no snow no ho ho ho.
What a wonderful memory to share, I felt I was right there in 1947 walking along with you and your friends.

Stan Ski said...

At school, in UK, we just wanted snow in winter (often let down). school holidays meant just one thing - Christmas day, and presents.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda -

Happy Thanksgiving... ;) ...just pulling your proverbial leg!

We give each other the 'bird' at this time of year -- here in the colonies.

I really enjoyed this post, it was rich with life and living -- thank you for sharing!

anthonynorth said...

That was visually perfect - I was there with you. And the whole thing was wrapped up in a beautiful, almost lyrical style.

Linda Jacobs said...

The feeling of friendship lasts forever and you cpatured it perfectly in thises lines. I really like,
"I remember the silence
As a meaningful conversation."

Roan said...

I felt as if I were walking along with you. I especially like the way the tempo changes near the end.

Lilibeth said...

wonderful! I loved it. Especially the pyramid at the end.

Devil Mood said...

I really love how this ends :) So sweet! I must say Cat Stevens was distracting me while I read it. It's hard to keep up with two good things at the same time haha

Marja said...

Absolutely lovely and I can relate to walk with friends who feel connected in silence and sound in the night Great poem I love the lasts parts fantastic

Tumblewords: said...

A lovely piece of vivid imagery and delightful words. Lovely.

Unknown said...

Great imagery - nice post!

present said...

Who needs the lights and snow and ho ho ho when there is silent communication and the stars and the frost. So Lovely!

Patois42 said...

I felt myself marching along with you. You made me feel as if I were right there. Lovely.

*~sis~* said...

that was fantastic...i could see the whole thing in my mind! :)

Kat said...

You've captured "the moment" after "the event" so wonderfully Brenda. The poem literally makes us listen to the thoughts running through your minds, as you marched back home.

Loved these lines...

Yet such a sense of companionship
Pervaded that night
That I remember the silence
As a meaningful conversation.

Anonymous said...

splendid imagery! nice story!! :)
my entry:

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

deep and elegant winter story.

Uma Anandane said...

Nice Tale...Congrats on getting selected for Poem of the week

cj Schlottmn said...

I love the vibrant imagery of this wonderful poem. I was right there with you girls as you spread out over the road. This poem has a wonderful cadence that sweeps the reader along with it. Congratulations on having it chosen Poem of the Week.