Friday morning. It's cold. The alarm goes off and toes linger on the edge of warmth as they fail to make the tumble down into the day. We trudge to the bathroom. Half asleep. Half wishing to still be asleep. The effects of the slide into winter. We look out the bathroom winter. White. White as can be slipping into the grey clouds of the horizon. Four letter words spill and slip with soap in our hands, the suds that linger on our faces. The snow has arrived. The promised snow. The illicit snow that sneaks under hedgerows and fills roads.
It falls silently, like ash, like the prelude before a volcano. The minuet before the opera. The coke before burger and fries, and the heartburn. It rolls in. It crushes the hillside we live on. We um. We ahh. We swear and sweat a four letter litany of bile. We sing of it's beauty but pull back from sinking our kisses into it. There will be no work. No school. No trudge to find flour to bake bread. We have been caught out. It happens.
When the clouds part we see the blue, tinged with the memories of the Arctic circle and rare, and thin, and raw to the breath. It clears the lungs with heavy hands and spreads our hearts across the land. We touch the horizon. We touch the clouds. We sink ankle deep into snow in waterproofs and wet gloves balled over snowballs. Wrists red with the ice that creeps beneath the cuffs. We move in single file, follow the footfall, the ghost trail to avoid the ice beneath, to stop the slips, the bumps, the falls, the fear of falling edges our voices up an octave, a mix of laughter and anger, of flying snow, falling from the bushes, from the trees, down our necks and into us, making us walk faster, laugh louder, a shortness of breath and temper when the climb up the hill becomes like trawling for oysters. Our own feet raking the beauty of snow to sludge and ice.
There are eggs to collect, chickens to check. We need to break the ice on their water but we know they will eat the snow if thirsty. They are the only colour in a white landscape, their red combs a knife across the snow, like a video nasty, like blood, like the dash of life it is, hen pecking across the snow for the mash we scatter, feathers fluffed, light tawn over brown, brown over red, red over white, spilling into our lives as we collect eggs, forget egg box, forget bag, stuff them into pockets like a fox we slink away, back to the fire, back to the world within a television, the world that shows what we see from our window, what we breathe in when we open our door and step out into the first crunch of snow. Television doesn't report that.