The Christmas Letter

ellie in Christmas hat.jpg

Dear friends,


We just received your Christmas letter


and are delighted to know that everyone


     is even better than last year,


that your children are all at Harvard or Yale,


that you went to Bermuda or Barbados


     for vacation


that the wives are all in law school,


the husbands were promoted


and the cat is doing TV commercials.


Things here are about the same:


chicken pox, high heating bills, and the


      lawn furniture is rusting.


Mom is still trying to potty-train the youngest.


Dad gave up running because of shin splints.


How come adolescence is such a sullen time?


And when did grandma learn to post on YouTube?


Life is as usual


except it is not.


Suddenly there is a blaze of bright


that is December sunset against snow,


and suddenly I know what I must write,


which is also true and, more important,


     also right.


We are even better than last year,


what with Mom taking zumba


and Junior’s basketball scholarship


and how the baby dances in front of the fire,


the heat curling copper ringlets on her neck.


We traded that wreck of a car for a new red




and one middle-aged man


has met his dream.



Life is a circle, but not at Christmas



At Christmas, it is a perfect sphere, unseamed



 like a silver ball



reflecting only joy in miraculous shimmer.