Thursday, December 24, 2015

The view outside the kitchen window is wet and green. I have never visited the Pacific Northwest, but I imagine it might look like this: dark, dripping rhododendrons, myrtle and pachysandra running riot, a pale cottage visible beyond the pines, a scarlet cardinal investigating the circle of spilled millet beneath the feeder. What this does not look like is Christmas in New England, yet here we are.

This is a house with a furnace, and the furnace is running. This is a house with walls that are windows, and everywhere the bare-armed trees are bending down to peer in. There is a poet inside the house, and a poet next door, and a poet downtown. This place is overrun with poets. It's a wonder that anyone gets anything done.

The slope beside the house tumbles into a tiny pond, and floating in the pond are the shadows of branches. The graybeard sky stares at the mirror of its own face. "The world lay still and clear like a long mural," murmurs the ghost of Robert Francis, who is awake in the pale cottage next door. An invisible car passes. A kettle boils. This could be the house that you are living in. At any moment, you may walk into the room.


Richard said...

As a native of the Pacific Northwest, now a New England transplant, yes, December 24, 2015, feels like Christmas often felt on the rocky beaches of the Puget Sound. On a clear day snow was often visible, but only high above the pines, on distant mountains. Now in Vermont we have a neighbor with a large rhododendron bush, not unlike the one that grew outside my bedroom window in Wauna, waiting for a change of wished-for wind to bring us brisker, cooler northern New England scenes -- which, occasionally, it did. Thank you,too, for this line of your neighbor Robert Francis, our ghost of Christmas present, and the day-in and day-out murmurs of poet after poet for continual awakenings.

Maureen said...

It's humid and very warm, and more rain threatens. Not at all like our usual Christmases in the D.C. area.

Wishing you all the blessings of the season, Dawn.