Literary Hook: A different holiday poem

The hectic Christmas season is drawing to a close. Soon, presents will be opened, carols sung, families gathered, feasts indulged. For many, this time of year will be strictly joyous—an effervescent time of gaiety and jolliness. For others, this time of year rises to a crescendo, then descends into quietness—a still time of solitude and serenity.

Of course, there are variations on these emotional themes; for all the ho-ho happiness, there’s also a dose of lo-lo loneliness. For some, just getting through the holidays is enough. This poem was written for them. It was first published in Slow Miracle, by Lake Shore Publishing, then reprinted in Home for the Holidays, by Papier-Mache Press. Gratitude to Carol Spelius and Sandra Martz for those publications.

The Day After Christmas

Today I celebrate glorious nothing,

Put my phone on cruise control

So that no one can intrude upon my uncelebration.

Today is my true Sabbath,

A day when I am free to unplug

Work, shopping, obligations, feast.

This day once was the blue pine

Of too much everything too sweet

And stale: a tally of cookies,

People who say all the wrong things,

A day for crying over what has never been

And what will never be. But today

I claim nothing

But this good cup of coffee,

Streak of blue in the skylight,

A frost terrarium of ferns,

Conifers and feathers,

This old pen and used paper,

This chair for an anchor, and just—

Hang out in this slow miracle!

Christine Swanberg is a local author.

From the Dec. 20-26, 2006, issue

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