" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

December 24, 2007

Measuring Longevity through Christmas

Can you call forth Christmas seasons now past
like photos in an album?

Listen harder
for the creaks of
all the rooms
you've been in
on every December 25th
as the last image
of that morning's dream
slipped behind dawn's light

were you alone
or wrapped
around the heartbeat of another
clinging safely to
the quietest morning of the year
on the jagged breath
of a lover?

is there a face
long since gone

a reminder
some sentences
once spoken
stay strong

the final note
of a gospel choir
in full harmony

Further back still
you see them arrive
single file

mother and sisters
giggling and glaring
as the 16mm camera
captures the pilgrimage

Tray after dish
gravy boat after platter

white linen
costumed with
silver spoons and crystal goblets.

Wrap yourself in the smell
of all the arms and legs
of those favorite baby dolls

grip tightly
at what happiness was then

even as the whiff
of vacant stares

rocking, rocking, rocking

greet the nursing home staff
mouthing the words
to Silent Night.

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