THE BOY ON THE ICE


The grass had disappeared

Under a blanket of white

The trees exhausted

From shedding

Stand naked and relieved

Hedgehog and rabbit

Underground

Snoozing and warm

 

Children at play

Chant their togetherness

The stars came down early

To twinkle the road

With frost

Swans had shut the door

On their young

And are alone again

 

And all the scene

Is a silent magnificence

Waiting for Christmas

And beyond

 

The still water

Has again frozen

A deep thick acre of ice

Bound together by frosty nights

Attracting the young

First steps

On the solid

Are full of childist screech

And all is happy

Happy happy children skating

 

Then out of nowhere

A boy disappears

They call his name

No answer

Again and again

They call

Again and again

 

First the disbelief

His name followed him below the ice

The desperation

Grows on the wind

And is carried to the disbelieving

The night quickly turned naked

The stars lighting the ice

Injecting panic into the gathering

Still calling his name

As if he went into the field

The Fire Brigade brought their ropes

A silence of the hearts stopping

The beginning of the knowing

The knowing how it would all end

A little rubber boot appears

The owner follows

As if to say

I will not be parted from my Wellington

The cold suddenly iced the watchers

And the story of the end

Has just begun.