Winter arrived early in 1443.
Prickling air laden with ice needles
sweeping down the lagoon
snow blankets shutting out light.
Galleys half-finished abandoned.
I fled from noise of cracking timber hulls
my eyelashes matted with snow.
I spied birds flying south before the blizzard bit
but laggards died
their frozen legs trapped in canals.
More snow flurries arrived
obscuring steeples and towers.
San Giorgio disappeared
braziers blazed in San Marco.
I arrived home taller than I left
boots claggy with soft sticky snow.
Grandmother shuffled to offer a gift at the well
icy flowers to appease the weather gods
who sent more snow.
Vicki Morley was placed 1st in The Plough by Philip Gross 2016, Highly Commended by Sarah Howe Winchester 2017, published in WoLF anthology 2018, Persian Rug South 2019, short listed at Canterbury FOTYP 2019 and due in Atlanta Review 2020