Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Poems: "Christmas, Hell" -- by Mark Gibbons

I can't even find time
to write the irrelevant,
irreverent form letter,
for Christ's sake,
let alone wax
poignantly about peace
& joy, chestnuts
or snow, those memories
in slo-mo of dark
mornings we danced
across freezing wood floors
to dig for socks & long johns
in dresser drawers,
bedroom windowpanes
glazed in ice—
we'd run to the living room,
shiver-up to the oil stove,
smell coffee, bacon
cooking in the kitchen,
listen to larch kindling crackle
& the trash burner roar,
Mother's slippers scuffling
the linoleum floor—dishes
clattered as we buttoned
& tugged, pulled on our clothes,
hypnotized by the glow
of icicles & colored bulbs
silhouetting the fir tree
we'd cut down
up Madison Gulch,
the literal presence of wonder
in our black & white eyes—
an evergreen rainbow
topped with a blue star—
it was our chromatic
invitation to dream.

—for Connie

Mark Gibbons grew up in a small Milwaukee Railroad town in western Montana and, over the course of 25 years, earned BAs in English and Psychology and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

Forgotten Dreams, in which "Christmas, Hell" was published, is his sixth collection of poetry.

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