Monday, December 04, 2006

Advent

Here's a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. I've posted it before, but this is a slight revision, and it's time again, and I still feel the same way I felt when I wrote this.

Advent


I.

Slicing crusty rolls for late fall supper
Serrated slip splits open palm
Bread absorbs crimson and she
Flushes with heated riptide
Hurricane-centred
Compelled by shock of recognition
Of one thing, she is sure:
Hurt’s the friend who never lets you down.
As she cleans the counter
Discards buns, rinses the blade,
Hope
Uninvited
Gently lifts a tattered corner and slides
Under the carpet
Stays stuck, insisting
There is more.


II.

Sipping coffee as the dishwasher hums she reads
New York Times online
Glazes over grim stories of places she can
Barely picture
Skips to an article comparing
Relative merits of $50 fruitcakes.
Downstairs, children bicker over Nintendo.
Is there no moment of quiet?
Not here, unless…
Draining her cup she
Rises
Goes to join their game.
As they unite in enjoyment of her
Joystick ineptitude
She finds that moment
Amid gales of laughter
When she asks if Zelda is one of Cinderella’s stepsisters.
Peace
Is possible.

III.

She hates the market
Beelines for milk, macaroni, broccoli
Remembers eggs. Doubles back.
Wonders at slow-shopping lovers selecting artichokes and brie.
At the deli counter the usual
Four hundred grams of black forest
“Would she like anything else today?
Only to break free and run into the night shouting
MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN SANDWICHES!
Plastic handle finger cuts
Misplaced key
She rumbles home, grapefruits rolling in the trunk.
He’s parked his car on the road
Left the carport for her
And at the door, a happy shout
Smiling dog follows her downstairs.
Nothing else matters.
Love
Is here.


IV.

There is no umbrella for
Joy
It falls in silly fat droplets
Splashing, drenching.
Music teacher plays bongo rhythms as the choir
Sings a Caribbean carol.
Believing isn’t a choice.
It washes her with giddy, reckless, gladness. She
Lifts her voice with the congregation
On this, the shortest
And happiest of days
Knowing
All that is solitary and sad
Can be turned right-side-up in
Community.
The fourth candle flares,
She is aflame
With wakening light.


question: what do you do this time of year?

mompoet - one candle burning

3 comments:

Pearl said...

That's gorgeous. It shows such a glowing look at home and family.

Even the slipped knife bit was great, even tho it made me queazy.

Like how each stanza has a mood.

Only part that tripped me was "Plastic handle finger cuts" I wasn't sure how to parse that.

Imran MD said...

Clear 2005 balance annual leaves before they get forfeited.

mompoet said...

Imran - seize those days!

Thanks Pearl - the plastic handle finger cuts are what you get when you carry too many, too full plastic grocery bags in one hand. I wonder how I can say that better.

mp