Hints of sun poked through the soup
Teasing the ground with thoughts
Of a blue sky
The road, wet from days of rain,
Reflected the subtle light
Showing the cool colors
Left from the grime of cars and trucks
For pollution, and after these days of rain,
The palette was beautiful
Alas, the gray is not ready to give way
The clouds took over
The vibrant ground went back to sleep

The top third of our
Fake Christmas tree’s lights burned out
I’m not taking it as a sign, although,
The year has come with sadness
Mainstays in our families
Have moved on
Their souls finding a place of comfort
Wherever they went
I miss them both
Thinking of each daily
Both my father in law and grandmother
Had huge personalities
While different in their ways
Both brought the calm of family
To us all
Their departures, like this tree,
Have left a dark spot on us
But so much of them remains as memories,
Ornaments,
To remember their lives
Beautiful as they were

How normal can hiding a book bag
In a shower stall be
Yet the logic behind this covert move
Made my day
In that
My student, younger developmentally
Than his years show,
Would put into action a plan
So nefarious
That my colleagues and I
Could only congratulate
His attempt to keep his belongings safe

The problem was his book bag
Too full of books to fit in his locker
Or maybe the locker is too small
For all of the stuff he has to tote
In this age
Of no time between classes
And cavernous nylon warehouses
Disguised as school supply caddies
That allow slumped shouldered kids
To wreck their posture
Under the weight of published tombs

Rather than have him worry
Whether his things would be safe
We asked him to bring his bag in our office
He thanked us
Told us about the repairs to his Vizio
And explained the intricate plot
To the “friggin” Christmas movie
His family had seen just the night before

Five really good minutes
With a really good soul.

A new Christmas Eve tradition
Just enjoying a quiet recovery
From workout
Running with the dog
Three beers at the pub
And hanging with my wife
Wondering what it means to go Christmas shopping
Since that was done long ago
Nope
We would rather spend this eve
Under the good graces of family

This eve of the Eve is weird
The humidity feels like May
The temperature is straight up shorts and T-shirts
And all I want to listen to
Is southern rock
And revel in the memory
Of spinning vinyl at Carter’s Grove
With all the windows open
The warm James River winds blowing
And adolescent irresponsibility framing the day
This day though is choked with rain
Shackled with the reality of car bills
And the shortness of December’s stingy daylight
But with the 38-Special channel rocking
I’ll get my fill of soul stirring rock
With my dog wanting to drag me after squirrels
I’ll sort of satisfy my jag for a Virginia breeze
And with my family
I’ll get past the dang car thing
For they are really the most important part
Of any holiday

Twice this week
Holiday reason entered the season
Once through a tweet
Where Neko Case suggested
We should stop shopping
And gather for tea during the holiday
Then my daughter
Answered the “What do you want question?”
With, “Nothing, let’s do something.”

Could it be that the Christmas-Political Ad campaign blitz
Is losing steam
Are we getting to a point where
We believe the spirit
Of the holiday is the holiday
And the offering of wrapped consumptions
Is a hollow offering
When compared to the time
Spent with family and in reflection

I can’t wait
To have tea with my daughter

The vanquishing is in full force
How long before Thanksgiving
Is gobbled up by the Christmas economic engine
That has spoiled the ease and joy
Of simple celebrations
Honoring family and commitment
All at 40-50% off
It seems that a melding
Of Halloween and Christ’s birthday celebration
Is not too far off
And then the blending of good and bad
Will be complete
An economic trinity
Where sales, sugar, and store hours
Conspire to remove the emotion
From wonderful days
Whose individuality and spirit should not be
Wrapped, discounted or masked
Just so dollars can be exchanged
Treats tricked
And the real reasons for the seasons
Lost on the racks