The Children make a change of clothing;
Tightening up red scarves
And displaying hats as if helmets.
Their grandparents stay inside as they gear up.
Perhaps another tea for now,
Bought with more silver, steel and Chinese blood.
Iron petals of snowflakes fall like an industrial revolution,
Overnight the land is levelled wearing the same rich bridal dress
Which covers over townhalls, churches and houses
With a white satiny mutiny that the Children exclusively claim.
Their hob-nail foot prints sit in the snow;
Landmines wiring up with time into an icy field.
Print on print, whether following or stamping out,
Crushing the milk-white powder until it is unwalkable,
The sanguine red blood of those who slip on it
Staining the uniform gloss.
The remnants glance from behind their iron curtains
And smile with their cynical screwed lips
On the salt with which they litter the ex-snow, now ice row.
The old colours return; those classic divides.
They re-open their shops.
Rain taps on the doors, the memory of the snow
Moaning for a place to exist. Cuba's too hot.
It smatters on dead trees and the wide-eyed dead crow underneath.
The ants and the wolf won't eat it;
They died because of the freeze too.
Not even the fox made it.
The ice turned the world into a gulag
And blood coloured it red.
Comments about this poem (Red World by Sandy Player )
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