when i sing she doesn't care;
when i whistle she looks at me expectantly
One last, silvered leaf fails to fallfrom its tree. A hard year's winterhas frozen your voice.
You would still rejoiceif you could sing, in your listening church –where candles thrill to their endings,light's brave lovers – gold carolsthis dark Advent; the hurt heart harkening:
Lo! He comes with clouds descending.
But there is the descant moonover 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).
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