Night out in winter by Ashleigh Young
When he got home at six in the morning
the sky looked just like his grandfather
standing in a doorway, arms crossed
face dark with warning.
Even when he drew the bedroom curtains
and poured himself into bed
that sky’s face weighed on him
like his grandfather glowering
through a closed door after dinner, the big cloud
of him sat in a corner of the kitchen, wheezing, his chest
full of weathering sparrows.
Hours passed until the sky occupied itself
with duties: wind, rain. You see? I am needed.
He heard it rummaging in the cutlery drawer
of the trees, pointedly
and was glad that somebody was still busy
being disappointed in him
but when the daylight thawed out
as snow that leaves only wet black roads
the early dark grumbled at him
to pull himself together and turn a light on
put on something warm; he was forgiven.