Literary Hook: The calming prelude of ‘The Day After Christmas’

December 5, 2012

Christine Swanberg

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Perhaps you are one of the lucky extroverted folks who find all holiday gatherings fun. Perhaps you come from a perfect family where no one blindsides you with the occasional insensitive remark. But my guess is that if you are human, you have had at least one moment during the holiday that you would rather forget.

I always enjoy the day after Christmas because most of the frenzy is over. It is a prelude to a new year and new energies, which lead you forward in your life and away from the old and stale.

The Day After Christmas

By Christine Swanberg

Today you celebrate nothing,

put your phone on cruise control

so that no one can intrude

upon your uncelebration.

Today is your true Sabbath,

a day when you are free to unplug

work, family, feast, and shopping.

This day was once the blue pine

of too much everything

too sweet and stale,

a tally of cookies,

relatives who say the wrong things.

But today claim nothing

except a good cup of coffee,

streak of blue in the skylight,

a frost terrarium of ferns,

conifers and feathers,

a clean, white computer screen

with only your name on it,

and just hang out in this slow miracle.

This poem was published first in Home for the Holidays, by Papier Mache Press, and reprinted in Slow Miracle, published by Lake Shore Publishing.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards. Her books include Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity (Wind Publishing, Kentucky), The Red Lacquer Room (Chiron Publishing, Kansas), The Tenderness of Memory (Plainview Press, Texas), Slow Miracle (Lakeshore Publishing, Illinois), Invisible String (Erie St., Illinois), Bread Upon the Waters (Windfall, Wisconsin) and Tonight on this Late Road (Erie St., Illinois).

From the Dec. 5-11, 2012, issue

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