CHRISTMAS, HELL

I can’t even find time

to write the irrelevant,

irreverent form letter,

for Christ’s sake,

let alone wax

poignantly about peace

& joy, chestnuts

or snow, those memories

in slo-mo of dark

mornings we danced

across freezing wood floors

to dig for socks & long johns

in dresser drawers,

bedroom windowpanes

glazed in ice—

we’d run to the living room,

smell coffee, bacon

cooking in the kitchen,

listen to larch kindling crackle

& the trash burner roar,

Mother’s slippers scuffling

the linoleum floor—dishes

clattered as we buttoned

& tugged, pulled on our clothes,

hypnotized by the glow

of icicles & colored bulbs

silhouetting the fir tree

we’d cut down

up Madison Gulch,

the literal presence of wonder

in our black & white eyes—

an evergreen rainbow

topped with a blue star—

it was our chromatic

invitation to dream.

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