One last, silvered leaf fails to fall
from its tree. A hard year’s winter
has frozen your voice.
You would still rejoice
if you could sing, in your listening church –
where candles thrill to their endings,
light’s brave lovers – gold carols
this dark Advent;
the hurt heart harkening:
Lo! He comes with clouds descending.
But there is the descant moon
over our scarred world, its cold, pure breve,
and you will sing to your child
on Christmas Eve.
“Advent” appears in The Twelve Poems of Christmas: Volume Six, selected by Carol Ann Duffy (Candlestick Press, £4.95).