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24 December 2013updated 02 Feb 2015 3:58pm

“Christmas Eve”: a new poem by Carol Ann Duffy

"To Ella".

By Carol Ann Duffy

 

Time was slow snow sieving the night,
a kind of love from the blurred moon;
your small town swooning, unabashed,
was Winter’s own.

Snow was the mind of Time, sifting
itself, drafting the old year’s end.
You wrote your name on the window-pane
with your young hand.

And your wishes went up in smoke,
beyond where a streetlamp studied
the thoughtful snow on Christmas Eve,
beyond belief,

as Time, snow, darkness, child, kindled.
Downstairs, the ritual lighting of the candles.

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“Christmas Eve” appears in “The Twelve Poems of Christmas, Volume Five”, selected by Carol Ann Duffy (Candlestick Press, £4.95)