Late December


Late December  by Nancy Schatz Alton

The darkest week of the year descends.

It holds me to my bed, tucked in & warm.

The rain rushes the windows & warns of the storm.

The winds land on the roof & scream for the heat.


Why do we get up and out of bed?

What’s with this path of deadlines & tests?

We’re wet from the dash to the car

sugared from December & oh-so-cold.


Our water bill escalates:

we hide in the bath

the whole family circulating

seeking salt & rest, the sound of water flowing.


Light bulbs click as they burn out.

Before electricity: we slept.

We slept when it was dark.

We slept when it was dark.


What did we do when the grey never lifted?

Did we watch the birds?

Try berries to see if we could eat them?

Light the fires: watch flames until the days lengthen.

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