Winter Poem: “Snow” by Gillian Clarke

Gillian Clarke

The dreamed Christmas,

flakes shaken out of silences so far

and starry we can’t sleep for listening

for papery rustles out there in the night

and wake to find our ceiling glimmering,

the day a psaltery of light.


So we’re out over the snow fields

before it’s all seen off with a salt-lick

of Atlantic air, then home at dusk, snow-blind

from following chains of fox and crow and hare,

to a fire, a roasting bird, a ringing phone,

and voices wondering where we are.


A day foretold by images

of glassy pond, peasant and snowy roof

over the holy child iconed in gold.

Or women shawled against the goosedown air

pleading with soldiers at a shifting frontier

in the snows of television,


while in the secret dark a fresh snow falls

filling our tracks with stars.