Monday, 17 December 2012


The snow has arrived. I have been waiting for it.

Weeks ago as my bus crossed a railway bridge a train passed underneath. Its endless carts filled with jet black coal made the patches of snow on top of each one flash more brilliantly as they sped by. I wondered where exactly this welcome taste of winter had come from and how long it would be before the clouds that turned its black loads to white would reach Moscow and cover the grey. I grew tired of waiting, and nervous at the thought that this winter could be as restless as the last.

But now it's here, falling in big sticky clumsy spots, filling up my window with TV static. The landscape is quickly re-drawn. Like fresh, white bedclothes stretched out along pavements and fluffy pillows stuffed into corners the snow cushions against the sharper edges of the city and muffles its yells.

Everything begins to settle. As the evening light changes the ground from white to blue, the sounds that remain are soft; the creak of boots imprinting the fresh canvas, a bird folding its wings as it settles on a branch, and our voices, calm and clear, filling up the small space between us and spilling out into the dark.

The air shimmers as it turns to ice and the glittering frost prickles my skin. It rushes up my arms and crackles across my shoulder blades like an electrical current.

As we walk I fight the urge to push you into a mound of fresh white snow, to tumble down with you beneath the soft white duvet, to fall with you, sinking slowly into the earth.

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