Post-Holidays

You know the next one without looking.

Stores will teem with facile cards and chocolate,

While your TV tells you that this!

This is the year you will eradicate that belly,

This! is the year you use that gym membership.

This!! is the year you make it all right.

You’ll see the play your daughter is in,

You’ll discard the bottle there, sitting on your desk

(And the ones stowed away in laundry baskets, drawers, and pillow slips.)

 

You’ll do all these things and more!

This is your year, you see,

This time you’ll get it right.

 

You stand there at the kitchen sink,

The crows pecking their way this and that…

Perhaps in the vain hope of nuts or seeds,

Midnight against the ice masquerading as snow.

The cat blithely reminding you she needs food,

Aerin in the next room crying, “Daddy!”

It’s an urgency you can’t pretend.

 

You light the cigarette you promised to avoid,

Step outside, the chill in your lungs fighting the smoke,

Exhale through your nostrils, suppressing a cough,

Clutching yourself, as if to ward off the cold.

But there is something ineffable about a winter’s night

Some clarity you neither know nor can define.

For a moment — just! — you see yourself in the black,

Orbiting that unreachable star.

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~ by Benji on 4 January 2016.

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