Monday, December 16, 2002

Ye Olde Poem Of The Week

Long before I met my Unitarian wife, I knew the words to more Christmas carols than most people: the Holiday spirit has always moved me. I love wandering through the bustling crowds thinking about the people I love and the things I love about them, and I love finding the perfect gift. I love the stillness and purity of NMH very excellent Choral/Orchestral Christmas Vespers Concert, which we saw this afternoon with my parents.

Darcie and I got engaged on Christmas Eve, 1996. Her family Christmas get-together, chock full of tradition and good cheer, has in recent years become a focal point, a liminal period, an opening of the senses for the transition from old to new. I wrote this week's poem about a month after the engagement on a cold, starrystill winter's night.

Winter Song

Six below and still; the cusp, the epiphany:
craving one last cigarette I sneak into Vermont winter
under Ames Hill, behind my future in-laws' home
in the valley below Marlboro College.

The moon blue air and the snow are frozen;
overhead, concentric circles of hazy color
break the surface of the sky,
ripple from the year's first cast white stone --

my breath casts wisps of shadow on the plow-flattened drive
as I pace, trying to keep the blood flowing.
Above the house the big dipper
dribbles bare branches down its handle

into the Thurber's barn, stirring milk cows;
but I feel the cold. Finishing, I work embers,
the last of the tobacco, off the filter, into the snow;
with its last heat the coal hisses and burrows out of the wind.

copyright Joshua L. Farber 1/6/1996

posted by boyhowdy | 12:10 AM |

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