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January still trembles
with the haunting sound
of carol singers
and pretty Christmas lights.

Well wishers bless us
with Happy New Year
good wishes, hot kisses
wide smiles.

Don’t look now!
Does the year ahead
hold tribulations
or delights?

Longer evenings
huddled around
hot chocolate and digestives,
then early to bed.

January’s mornings
are dark and cold
until the snow
whites out the landscape.

The picture postcard
countryside excites
small children,
their voices trill.

Suddenly snowballs
and snowmen manifest,
with old cloth caps
and carrot noses.

Cold neighbours
nod hello
and smile warmly.
They melt the ice

brings its own colour,
and each year
it lights up anew.


– Ruth Walters


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