Dec 27th, and it’s already light so much later.
It’s then I realized I missed winter solstice —
no chance to celebrate
the longest night of the year;
still consumed in the everything-grief
of my Deerhound, dead at 13 –
so old for a big breed; so young for a human.
The sweet suffering of a grateful life;
my mother trying to wrap Christmas biscuits
in a trash bag,
asking for the fifteenth time:
where all this food came from,
and whose new jacket is this,
and why didn’t I bring the dog like always;
that hot bandage ripped quick and again
off the wound that had almost healed
twelve minutes ago.
So much to think about – holidays, family, death,
as if the Christmas Comet stirred such things –
like full moons calling forth newborns and floods.
And if the moon stirs the waters,
what would a comet stir
but the very breath from an old furry body,
and the mind of a woman
as sweet as a box of peppermint creams,
the lid left open,
swept up and pulled
into the long darkness of the woods.
2010 Texas Poet Laureate karla k. morton has fourteen collections, with “The National Parks: A Century of Grace” her most recent and historic: visiting and writing about all 62 national parks in situ. She’s a National Heritage Wrangler Award winner, songwriter, and nominee for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.