Itís Still a Long Walk to Christmas

Iím hidden away
from holiday visitors,
egg from plates wiped clean,
crumbs up from counter
brushed with efficient palm,
frying pan still warm
and slick upon the stove,
potato peels filed away,
scent of navel orange,
morning paper rearranged
according to topics best ignored.

Outside, rain. Parking lots.
Bell-ringers. Car exhaust. Distant hills.
Stubbled fields. Muddy heels.
We need a dozen eggs. Bags of tea.
Remember marmalade? Local honey.
Oatmeal ó mush! the winter chill.
Behold, my empty wallet.

Itís still a long walk to Christmas.
A thousand strangers yet to greet.
A thousand sorrows line the street.
A thousand angels with ragged wings.
A thousand voices softly sing.
Hark the herald, something something.
Upturned faces. Outstretched arms.
Hands held warm around the world.

December 20, 2005

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