I first drafted this poem in 2003 when I was living in Wimbledon, London, five minutes walk from the fabulously beautiful Wimbledon Common. I edited and had the poem published in the UTS Students Magazine ‘The Fine Print’ in 2006.
The Publication is no longer available anywhere online via UTS, so I’ve uploaded it here.
The first flakes of white, could be paper, drift across your vision,
carried by the wind. You wait forty-five minutes, typical, flipping
the hood off your gloves to turn the page. Someone walking back and forth,
chattering into their phone; realising how cold you are, standing up yourself.
A podgy snowman tells you the District Line is cancelled, people are
annoyed. You walk out the front of Wimbledon Tube and see the funny
white rectangles on the roofs of all the taxis and on the slanted roof of the bus
shelter. You start whistling the old carols, those ones which only used to appear
in your head.
You sit in the front seat on the top floor of the double-decker, watching over
a landscape where the top of everything gets attention: those brown, wooden, cylindrical
stumps that stick up a couple of feet at regular intervals from
the frosted blanket of the Common, how there’s these perfect white circles on
top of them all. You think that you’d never before noticed that those stumps had tops.
You wonder how many other things you’ve missed, just because it rarely snows.
On the way back to the flat you change your walk to avoid slipping: crunching,
padding; becoming attentive to the muscles in your legs, how one’s not as
strong. How the tips of the blades of grass look like bristles rising out
of skin; you wonder if anyone else is thinking that.
You don’t like getting home to the flat, despite the warmth, to those
people who don’t say anything, not really, who’ve been out throwing
the snow at each other, and they’re In Love now; and they look at you
funny: you weren’t there to do what you do, what they did
in the London snow.
Mark Riboldi 2006