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Here at the Close of Christmas Day

by Alan Harris

To a Guest Reading by Paul Meier

Tonight the season
breathes easier again—
the ribbons are cut,
the paper's been ripped.

We silenced last night
with candles and song,
and today we enjoyed
the meal of the year,

allowing for Uncle Carl's jokes,
Cousin Peter's pomposity,
and righteous kitchen clatter
before the family feast began.

The season's reason?
I don't ask why,
nor does why
ask me—

I just roll with days
of way too much
and nights of less
than nothingness

like a child held safe
in the all-year arms
of Mother Everything,
whose love is all there is.

I used to fear, then fall
from these arms of love,
but where was there to fall
except Here?

If Here can be taken away,
we are doomed—but so far,
Here seems all there's ever been
and perhaps will ever be.

This living room now smells
of candle smoke and new perfumes
as Christmas magic leaks away
into midnight, we still we.

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The Scrooge Before Christmas

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