22 December 2012

A Poem For the Days Before Christmas

The sky is gray, flattened, putty, for days on end, and we wonder
whether it will always be thus, or whether
spring will come as it always has,
blindingly brilliant, sweater-shedding, flowers rising from the mud.

But for now, we turn on the car's headlights
in mid-afternoon, swipe away the occasional snowflakes,
try to be kind by holding the shop doors
for those laden with packages and secret surprises.

We are not ready. The wrong chords in our heads,
the wrong song in our hearts,
the lack of money sliding smoothly into skipped meals,
skipped gratuities, panic about skipped gifts.

The doors we hold, the hands we hold, the songs we sing,
the hearts we measure, beat by beat, in the ice-laden air
should count for something, and it is that something that we seek
to define, as the year slowly rolls, once more, to a silent close.


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