That dreary day of early dark
I baked a cake - my thirty-fifth -
for Christmas, happy at the thought
of something done and stored away.
And as the warmly scented air
stole through the house, I glanced outside
to where the leaves could just be seen
dancing in the garden's gloom
as if in hope to see my child,
small and purposeful and quick,
come down the path towards the light
and smile at being grown-up
returning home without my help.
I smiled myself at years compressed
by memory, repeated tasks
and Christmases which mark the time
to where that child can now be seen
awaiting in his turn a child
approaching in the winter's dark.