It does not snow the night of Christmas Eve
There is no soft snow falling, for reindeer
to leave deep prints or knock ice from the eaves.
There are no carolers in my neighborhood
whose voices, though muffled by snow, ring clear.
And the bells which elsewhere toll from the wood
church, are gone. Replaced by suburb silence
and the occasional passing engine.
Neat rhymes tend to end in the day to day.
And Christmas is the neatest rhyme of all.
Placed at the tail end of December’s line
to resolve the residual tension
or at least ease the years remaining woes.
And Christmas grows to meet the task each year
Expanding the vision to rhyme with more
to meet the growing fear with growing joy.
But when it doesn’t snow on Christmas Eve
and there are no bells to toll the coming
rhyme, and no rhyme suitable for Aleppo
or Germany or the other thousand
tragedies hid in December alone
We should not abandon all poetry.
Pictures can only bear so much weight
before pointing to the third dimension.