Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas sentence, revisited

at Christmas
we drive through the flat 
Carolina plain
turned blonde in winter,
trees scraping the 
naked sky,
to home,
butter-dipped rolls,
soft as clouds
so we can meet 
the newest part of family
a puff-cheeked baby 
bearing his
great-grandfather's name
(born on his birthday), 
and we watch as my brother
drinks in the eyes of 
this newborn part
of himself
then we drive down 
a ribbon of road
to dogs barking
sharing more rolls and 
a minute of conversation 
with a soon-to-be-95-year-old
who wears an apron 
and kisses our cheeks 
and scolds us for not staying
quite long enough,
then home
to barbecue chicken
and my mother's pecan pie, 
dripping with 
ice cream
as we sit at the table 
set with the
scrolled silver
we used to use 
every day 
when i was a child,
and my father 
blesses all
for the kindness of strangers,
for family,
past and absent,
present and 
pending — just one more 
at the moment yet to come —
then once stuffed,
we quickly clean the
stacks of dishes
piled at the sink, 
then we laugh over coffee
about the squirrel who came for
Thanksgiving dinner,
then we remark about Baby Vance
who is currently
number one in 
"Pop B"'s eyes,
and as the sun sets,
hugs travel across
the room as warm as the pecan pie
and we make leave,
and once outside
our breath
fills the 
crisp night
with clouds as soft 
as those rolls,
then we drive back through
the darkened plain
and over the river
and through the woods
to our other home,
then we head to church,
the light and life
of all that is
and has our being
rings forth 
in the voices of all who
join in joy, to this 
troubled world,
then we make our way through
the night and twinkling lights 
to the tastes 
of dove and lamb
and yeast and butter 
dripping soft as those voices,
talk of family
on our tongues.

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