Snow drops glisten, upon northern branches, resonant charcoal voices
cough like spitting chestnuts by the open hearth. Home is calling, returning with a feast of fervour.
Northern voices, warm blood, passionate rituals,
drawn velvet curtains, behind the Christmas tree decree,
of a time before, now gone. Whittled in our coal.
By the banks of the Tees, rip-roaring industrial sunset.
Our fervent footfall in the countryside,
the snow stuck footprints, far gone at Carlton Bank.
One Christmas walk with dad in ‘98,
when I, out of hospital, thank God, not too late,
saw my Mum at the nursing home where she worked then, wearing a Santa hat, in the spirit of things.
Cheeks cheery red as Mrs Claus, when she saw me in joyful surprise.
At 18, now 37, each year we think, we will learn the lesson,
that the New Year will be better.
If I could post that message with my son, together, in our next Dear Santa letter.