(for John Bertolini)
Some of us love it best, this golden time.
Don’t suppose that we’re putting Christmas down.
But to the Christmas star we cannot climb.
It’s not for us to place the thorny crown
Upon an infant’s brow. The emptied town,
And not the crowded inn, calls out to us.
The leaves are red and yellow, even brown,
And crumble underfoot. Imperious,
The wind makes them an army. It is thus
That we’re assailed by monsters whose existence
Is, on analysis, plain dubious.
Thus we embrace the shadow’s sheer persistence.
We do not think about it overmuch.
Soon enough, we will feel December’s touch.