Best Christmas present ever: deep, deep snow.
A whiter white than I had ever seen,
but out of reach, beyond the window glass,
and not available to feet and hands.
I'm five years old and full of wonder: how
might it feel against the skin? As fluffy
as it looks? As smooth? And how would I react?
I see the people come and go with it.
I see it piled on shoulders, woolly hats
and scarves. I see deep footprints where they've walked.
Among them are my parents, come to visit.
They come into the ward still dressed in snow.
When they are here, they're everything I want,
but when they're not, I want the snow. Just now
they are at home, and snow falls heavily.
What good a Christmas present that I cannot use?
But now a transformation: nurses come;
they're carrying huge bowls of snow which they
distribute round the ward. Soon they are helping
us to mould snow into cannon balls.
For hours - it seems - we hurl them back and forth,
targeting each other, 'till the ward's awash.
When parents come, the bedclothes are still wet.
Great cries of anguish fill the battle field.
The dead and dying - of pneumonia
and such like wounds - have had recovery
set back by unknown periods of time.
But nurses somehow manage to persuade
them that the fight was therapy for us!
I am entering this poem for the Poets United "Winter" challenge.
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