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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Elaine stood at the window with her tea,
and watched the man next door,
bearing an armload of groceries,
fumble on the doorstep for his key,
a shadow-man, in the December rain.

She spoke. “I wonder if our new neighbor has people.”
“People?” John murmured, looking over her shoulder.
“Yes, people,” said Elaine. “So he needn’t be alone
at Christmas. I hope he has friends, just as
Providence blesses us;
It hurts my heart, to think of a soul in pain.”

John said, “He likely has family, either here or there.
Maybe he’s Jewish, his grocery bag overflowing
With chocolate Macabees, and Gefiltefish.
In any case, though, just because he lives alone,
doesn’t mean, automatically, that he doesn’t have people,
people of his own.”

Elaine frowned. “I guess there’s no way to know,
Unless one were to ask him, strike up a conversation
along the sidewalk, some day when it isn’t raining.”
John frowned, then, “So, now, shall we invite to Christmas
Each stray dog that happens in from the rain?
What business of ours is it, really, anyway?”

John was not a cruel man at heart, but Elaine took it cruelly,
and whispered, “The common welfare was my business…
So said the ghost of Jacob Marley, one Christmas Eve.”
“Good God!” John exclaimed, “now you’re quoting Dickens to me.”
“This is real life, my dear. It isn’t a fairy tale, a fantasy.”

Her fingertip captured the tear on her cheek, before John could see.
“To be sure,” she said, and falling silent
She closed the curtain; and in time,
The man outside the foggy window pane….
The shadow man in the December rain….
Was completely forgotten.

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"Safe," by James Walker

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"Good Hours" by Robert Frost ("North of Boston," 1915)
I had for my winter evening walk—
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.

And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.

Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o’clock of a winter eve.

Robert Frost (1874–1963).  North of Boston, 1915.

Robert Frost, American National Poet

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Traditional

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in the old mans hat;
If you havent got a penny, a hapenny will do,
If you havent got a hapenny, God bless you.

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