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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher

A Long Walk on a Winter Morning

I walk in dawn dark

And the canal creaks

An icy yawn.

A light sparks like

A two wheeled firefly as

An early bike flashes past.

More lights, luminescent

Dashes and skittering feet,

The pant of the first dogs.

The houseboats moored

Are winter few, silent

Undisturbed silhouettes.

The gloom lifts and

Duck breakfast patrols

Lead soporific swans.

The new flats are sparsely

Lit by a few early risers, the faint

Hiss of radios and kettle song.

A window open only enough

To prevent winter seeping in,

But letting the first spliff thicken the air.

On to the road, still quiet, as

Apologetic buses, yellow lit

And warm, trundle up the hill.

A girl walks by, lost in

Morning reverie of headphone bliss,

Purple hair blending with purpling skies.

A passing smile and the

Doppler hiss of rhythmic beats

Fading with each purposeful step.

The Full English café stirs to life.

A few full English stir their third cup of tea,

Wiping plates clean with some sliced white.

And the windows steam with

Condensation and conversations

On the latest party revelations from No.10.

The crematorium is preparing for the day ahead,

As the cemetery gates open and the first

Bouquets are lain in solemn remembrance.

And those I pass as we skirt the cemetery walls

Are reverent, respectful, and we exchange good mornings

In hushed tones, not wishing to disturb the peace.

The clouds remain heavy and a greyness

Infuses everything and everyone, even the

Winter smiles of the morning walkers are grey

Listless and weary, wearing an impatience

With winter and its extended nights, longing

For the returning warmth of spring.

Only the dogs remain enthusiastic.

Pulling on leads with eagerness -

Let loose the dogs of winter!

And life slowly drifts to fill

Streets and pathways, semi-

Conscious, metronomic, routine, humdrum.

Winter blankets us and even the most

Optimistic find it hard to shed its cloak.

But we take the long winter walk,

Knowing that it will end,

As all walks must.

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