A Week in the Cold
The winter dressed itself in a hat of cloud
the snow on Haytor a pom-pom of white dust
that spread like icing sugar over roads and lanes.
We took turns clearing the ice on the second day
and sat inside with marshmallows over the wood burner
enjoying the seclusion, playing music, drinking our
expensive Douro Port from our first anniversary holiday,
and making love.
On the third day we stayed in bed, watched the brush
of Paynes grey casting its shadow. The gloom spread
beneath the duvet. The wood store shrank and we wore
our coats indoors. We fought: the decision to go outside to
the wood; each other.
On the fourth day the snow-on-snow piled outside our
The door was stuck, the last of kiln-dried oak soaking in
So we burnt Building Dreams, House Beautiful, House &
Dartmoor hills had sunk into the Teign. We decided when
over we would go our separate ways.
On the fifth day it really was the end. It was he who packed
He filled cardboard boxes from the loft with Antigone and
his Greek translations and the complete works of
The last straw: my first editions of Harry Potter. I offered
to burn them all. He offered to burn my clothes.
On the sixth day the clouds offered a blue patch with a
sun. It winked at us through steaming glass, a jester
applause for his bad jokes. There was no sympathy when
off stage, and the main act oiled itself a brilliant canvas.
turned to liquid paper and we covered up the scratches.
Then on the seventh we walked the hills of Haytor
and he took my hand in the glove of his
as the scarf of the sky surrounded us.