We stand in the kitchen, cold beer in hand
breathing in the mixed-spice smell of Christmas
while outside, the day’s heat settles into the warm softness of dusk
and the rhythmic shrill of cicadas gives way to the burble of crickets.
I will put on my shoes
and be swept along on the
surging through city streets,
eddying into the cool of shops
where baubles hang above harassed heads
and young girls in short shorts buy after-shave
and grey-haired grannies play with tip trucks
and check the robots for batteries.
Sweat and iced coffee, buskers and balloons,
fretful babies and Christmas carols,
and we’ll catch the ferry home because it’s cooler.
we stand in the kitchen barefoot,
breathing in the cut-pine, cherries-and-mango smell of Christmas
and hearing the children squabble on the lawn.
‘It’s hot,’ you say.
‘It’s Christmas,’ I say,
and we smile.