The rain fell
and fell   The snow withdrew
The flattened lawn appeared
green, defeated
Rainwater breached
the new side door
made the carpet bleed

The sky cleared, the sun
threw off its winter wrap
Galoshes were lobbed to the cellar
a mosquito was seen on the stair
In the flowerbed
beside a sodden flyer, a crocus
broke through, bloomed
in blue air   Sunlight
hung brilliant

Children pulled bikes
from backs of garages
found beachballs in cedar hedges
Women washed their windows
men made home repair

Out we went
in work shirts
to raise the doorsill with cement
Aubrey looked in, decreed
our mixture thin, Leo
dropped by, pronounced the door
awry, completely
out of plumb

We laid aside our trowel

Looking up through the legs of standing men
we saw the sky turn bone
saw the naked trees
in the garden

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Christmas”?

“Christmas” was one of a series of ‘domestic’ poems I wrote while my children were young. In it, I describe a false spring that occurred one Christmas, and the false hopes of renewal that came with it. The title is ironic: even though a gift of an unseasonably warm day was offered, it was soon taken away.

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