Friday, December 23, 2011

you may have to squint

Here is the promised Christmas poem. What it lacks in joy, it adds to hope. You may have to squint to find it, but it's there--in the postman's hand, in Santa's poise, in the silver-glitter she'll have to shake alive.

Furthermore, what's a Festivus without some grievance?

Ciao for now.

The Snowglobe

The snowglobe settles slowly

Into the townscape. She watches

Fretful for the postman

Caught in the storm. And what’s worse . . .

Caught in the glass—perpetually drowned.

She saddens. She shakes the globe.

For the movement of it. To stir the foam bits,

Frenzy the weather vane

On the farmhouse down the lane.

The postman holds a letter.

From the farmer’s son, off to war? For the wife,

Who’s worrying the hens just now?

The snowglobe settles bleakly

Into the townscape. She sips cocoa,

Tongues a marshmallow and sucks it gone.

The firehouse is red. The firetruck

Is red. There are no fires.

She saddens deeper.

She shakes the globe.

For the wonder of it. What will become

Of Santa astride the icicled house

—brick like hers back when—

Or of the gifts in the chipmunk-

Cheeked, velveteen sack?

The gift for the postman—a new pair of boots.

The gift for the wife—a basket for eggs, this time

With a handle. The gift for the weather vane—

a buffer for the verdigris.

She has her own gifts. In the attic,

Hidden. That soon she’ll wrap with last year’s

Paper and this year’s tape.

She will gladden

As she scissor-blades the ribbon into curls,

As she marks the cards with a silver-glittered pen.

But just now it’s far too sad—the cobble

And the fences lined with crows.

Too immediately terrible—the drowning

and the blizzard and the always of it all.


  1. For the wonder of it. with a silver-glittered pen. and the always of it all.

    I like. There is hope in it. I didn't have to seek it out (too much) but then again but just now it's far too sad not to see the hope of it all.