Christmas Holiday Daredevils

The snow fell softly, silently,
blanketing the town before daybreak;
it was deep enough to sledge in – and lose a boot;
out the window, a march had already begun,
street kids trailing sledges and inner tubes from old tractor tyres,
towards the hills of the golf course and their hills;
the walk took us past the bare hedgerows,
showing the families already there;
a dad and daughter skimming down on a black binliner,
and some of the older lads on an old car bonnet
spinning every which way.

At the entrance, scrambling over stile,
I was ready to tackle the hill,
dodging bodies to reach the top and the quick queue,
quicker than I’d ever seen;
it was tradition to share the first trip down with Ni;
he handled the steering, as we sped in a bullet-straight line,
all the way to the bottom,
so we went again and again and again – together and apart,
until my final solo descent, which was
headfirst, full of fear and peer pressure;
I almost made it until I ate a wedge of snow, hurting my arm;
one of the car bonnet boys had to pull me out of the way,
as the dad and daughter sped past my feet, binliner shredded to pieces,
their fun finished as well;
my brother left to trail the sledge
as we laughed all the way home;
full of childhood adrenaline, arctic air
and last night’s snow.