Two poems by Maurice Devitt

First Days of Winter

Trees blue and leafless, a doily of frost
forms on the front lawn, first peelings
of ice on pathways, winter coats
stiff and reluctant.

Words, chipped from frozen thoughts,
disappear in a blur of breath,
as movements slow and bony fingers
burrow into gloves.

Shoes, now too big for curled toes,
skate on polished tiles and soft,
summer bodies totter like china dolls,
as though death were just one fall away.
Winter Landscape

She had just finished knitting
the cat when it escaped, black
fur shredded against
the driving snow. The night

was cold enough to make
a butcher shiver, hands
fingerless fitted snugly
into gloves. She grabbed

her coat but it resisted,
sleeves clinging desperately
to a hat-stand. The trail
of paw-prints was cold

and diverged in two directions
as though she had missed
a stitch. She rolled one set
into a ball and followed

the other into a forest, trees
huddled closer than their
shadows, branches stroking
beards of snow. She expected

a house, there was always
a house but no, a lake
the size of a mirror
and on the ice an empty bobbin.

(Winter Landscape was first published by Smiths Knoll in 2011).

Maurice Devitt is a graduate of the MA in Poetry Studies from Mater Dei in Dublin. A Pushcart Prize nominee in 2012, he was most recently short-listed for The Doire Press International Chapbook Competition and is a member of The Hibernian Writers’ Group.