Northwords Now Issue 34

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Lumi – Snow

by Gerry Stewart

Nirskua, narskua, kirskua  –
the squeak, crunch and sparkle of the dawdle to school.
No snow days, the country is built to push on.

Nietos – unfettered hard piles sliding
onto street and pavements with childish enthusiasm.
We use a sledge for the nursery run.

Pristine drifts formed by wind - kinos,
too difficult for him to resist dipping a hand or diving hip-deep.
He falls every two steps, an early clue.
I haul him up by his snowsuit,
thinking we’re all still adjusting.

Awaiting the snowstorm – lumimyrsky
the promise of white-lead skies falling behind glass for hours.
They wake to the excitement of more and more.

I wake to the frustration of slush – sohjo
frozen to ice by roller coaster temperatures
and the nightmare of pushing a buggy over rutted paths.

Jää – ice bite on exposed flesh
through thin cheap layers, the dry hush of my skin.
We are not prepared.

Counting the points of each snowflake – viti
the frothy powder as it lands on my glove,
I try to reignite my joy in the silence dropping over the city.

The unfamiliar shovel’s slide over iljanne –
the thin layer of snow atop the hard-caked icy path.
Biting out steps to our door,
reaching the end and starting again.

The neighbours’ fire pits and ice candles, illuminating our way,
the promise of valo – light, bringing warmth and home.