(A New Year’s Day poem)

It takes a while for her ego to catch up with her energy
which had flown ahead 

She ventures another three careful steps towards the water
bare feet finding a new hold 
toes feel the familiar edge of smooth worn wood on the pontoon
some of yesterday still pooling in the ridges 

Toes spread, tendons taut
legs strong, arms ready
chest open, fingers stretched out
she’s reaching into the day

Her shadow drags behind 
like a reluctant toddler
tugging at her wrist

Hesitating for a moment
her breath is visible in the morning air
as birdsong rises in fresh welcome of this dawn.

December’s final moon 
traces a long, cold silvery finger 
slowly down her back

A parting gesture 
as the sun begins to breathe colour 
into the clouds’ early greys

1, 2, 3 she jumps
and a muster of crows lifts as one with her from the ancient oak, on the opposite bank 
the flap of their wings is the last thing she hears 
before her head plunges among bubbles under the clear water

With January’s baptism she resurfaces

Katie Whitehouse