Anne Stewart

"Let us have winter loving that the heart
May be in peace and ready to partake
Of the slow pleasure spring would wish to hurry"
Elizabeth Jennings Winter Love

She lies awake listening to the storm.
It breaks in through open transom lights;
runs riot through the house, a vandal gouging
pristine walls. Bringing the outside in.

She hears the garden's talk, thin as thorns
scratching glass, alpines clinging for dear life,
plastic chairs sitting themselves down hard.
And you lie close. Boats in safe harbour.
She tries to listen better, strains to hear
the scrape of firs digging in their heels
against the gale, but you snore too loudly,
content with life just lapping at your sides.

Thugs of rain shout and batter at the window
as though they'd come to sort you out. Listen!
Listen to the whale-song of the trees as they
wallow in it. See how they shake their fists.

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