As the Old Year Ends

When the cold of December knocks

the warmth from my skin, and the trees

turn burnt umber and the fields cease

their bright  goldenrod grins, I grease

trays with butter, trim the mantel,

light the fire, and dance to the beat

of my heart’s keen desire: that peace

comes dripping, an icicle flow,

that joy, like an echo, will follow

and grow, that anger will mellow

in the fire’s red holiday glow,

and that all who abide, hurting,

will find someone’s warm hand to hold.

While the new pastries are baking

and there’s no fresh white falling snow,

I turn up the volume and sway

to and fro, a lone bright candle

wish-dancing at the cold year’s end.