Another Effect of Global Warming
The last of the ice cap finally splinters like a tray
of ice cubes cracked into a pail,
and the wooden workshop floor buckles into the ice cold
water and begins to sink. Slowly
at first, bottle-bobbing in the black and white
ice-choked swells, then slipping deeper
as it fills, until its buoyant trash
spills out – nutcracker, skin horse, and baby doll –
bubbled up and scattered all about, each
in a dead-man’s float, before the whole picture is swallowed.
As the surface calms itself, the candy-coloured spires
of the workshop plunge downward
through the ever-darkening green, trailing
its inventory of rewards, its thousand years of legend,
its blackmail paid in chores and the niceness
of the nice. Yes, Virginia,
there is a Greenland shark, with parasites
trailing from its blighted eyes,
nosing through the wrecked and lightless halls of Christmas
deep beneath the vanished ice.
From The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010).