Already what little sunlight there has been
each day of the new year dies a little
later in the west. Today the layers
of pale orange and gold seem to stretch
like a canopy far into the Welsh hills,
over the mountains, and the sea beyond,
as if hope were only a journey away.
Meanwhile the numbers of the sick rise
everywhere like a temperature gauge –
and those of us spared thus far, through luck
or circumspection, must make the prosaic
precious: a flurry of snow, a child’s mitten
placed on a wall, a wood pigeon calling
on a chimney stack. And with every breath
a minding of the dead.