CHRISTMAS NIGHT 2007
There are twelve of us for Christmas,
Three generations, ours the oldest.
A benign weariness:
Food and gifts, family jokes and tales,
Small stresses let quietly pass.
Cousins cavort, careen, compete.
Our daughters, friends too, consider vegetables;
Their husbands assemble a soccer goal
While the gravy cools.
As we are leaving, I think I see
Traces of a tear on Julie’s cheek;
Her smile lingers, quiet, faintly moist.
“Christmas Night 2007" appeared in Ad Hoc Monadnock, October 2009
after hearing lectures by Steven Reinhartsen and Elliott Engel
Guys from the East, headed for Bethlehem,
Three of them, maybe more,
Educated men with expensive gifts.
Wait a minute, says one:
Perhaps this is not such a hot idea.
Whyever not?—presents for the new baby.
One day someone might use this
To excuse a TV spot
That urges men to buy their wives
A Lexus SUV.
Well, the other says, let’s do it anyway.
So Dickens inspired the Christmas card
And the snowy, cozy Yule:
What we believe, culture’s accretion,
Mistaken but not wrong,
At some remove from what happened
In a still blood-soaked land,
In a hot, late summer,
A long time ago.
“Winter Solstice” appeared in Hazmat Review, Fall 2009
Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers (2007) and Mileposts (2009), both published by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the eastern U.S. He has had over 600 poems published or accepted by 125 periodicals in the U.S., Canada and U.K., including Cold Mountain Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Miller’s Pond, MediaVirus, Bolts of Silk, Louisville Review and Paris/Atlantic, and in four anthologies including the 2008 and 2010 editions of Poet’s Guide to New Hampshire and Celebrating Poets over 70.. For further information see http://www.demareepoetry.
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