Overnight rain, wind, hail and a light dusting of snow down to 2,000 feet for our Christmas present on Dry Creek. Fairly rare, especially during the last four years.
Whole family here jamming into the late night hours (10:00 p.m., 3 hours past my bedtime), Robbin and Bob with guitars, Jaro and I with harmonicas, all singing what lyrics we knew.
All good, beautiful morning, Christmas 2015!
Bagels and lochs on the deck.
Blue Oak rounds too big for the woodstove
collect near the splitter in a pile—energy
stored in rings of sun, years of rain—
the severed dead, hard and dry inside.
We look ahead to ceremony, prepare
as we go, set aside the burls and forks,
too twisted to split, for the outside fire
and generations of flickering faces.
I see my mother in my grand-daughter’s
eyes, leave us for a moment for the flames
lapping the remains of a stump—the call
from beyond that burns within us all—
she is drawn away. It is the coming back
to her mother’s lap, her bemused recognition
of going somewhere within white coals
beyond this half-circle of family
that I see my mother in her face
while the meat cooks. We talk, lift glasses
in the smoke that swirls undecidedly
around us, just out of reach of the flames.
Early tracks upon the morning frost,
someone will rise to stir the embers,
to rekindle conversation from cold night
hoping to keep the celebration alive.
No father or mother left to leave
a Christmas gift under the tree—
even the child in us understands.
An ever-ready substitute, the old
Hereford bull plods along the fence
looking past the asphalt, gutturally
conversing with the neighbor’s
registered Angus mothers
while his younger brethren work
the steep brush and rock,
gather families in the wild
from last year’s seed.
Kept another year, just in case
someone gets hurt, we become
the extras for the gods—
walk the sidelines
lending words to the old songs
‘lest the world forgets
the melodies of Christmas
when it rains, or snows low
leaving only grass under trees.
What has become of us,
quick to fire
at silhouettes in shadows,
raw anger mobbing
We need a holiday
some space and peace
with this economy—
time to care.
An early Christmas wish,
a common gift
we all can share.