Red Noel

It is still December in Brooklyn already

As she smashes a bloodied mosquito

Having just dined on you without notice.

But hers.

Mine distant upstairs.

Knowing it too balmy for snow, but willing it

As I watch the deli tree vendors through the blue and green lights

From my window.


She holds it in her hand, as I looked away in horror,

Back to a more peaceful red of Santas, sleighs and wreath ribbons.


You sleep sweets, like your daddy.

Christmas tree lights bright and beautiful

Burning, you hope, a place in your mind

To last through cruel times of childhood hysteria.

This is all normal you hear.


I did.


The bags, then gallons of lit candles lined our streets at your age.

But only for one night.

Mystics, conjurers spoke from pulpits, dinner tables, classrooms and movies.

Also from my amygdala in a voice calling to the cortex for back-up saying

“a snow flake will fall”.


And when it did, only sometimes then, but always now

The fractals luminesce and melt longer than barely coherent and half frozen

Flakes feel fresh and alive longer.


She hugged me as sweets slept. Told me about the present order and

the Nutcracker enormity, in miniature of mostly kids.

The practical, perturbing in a season packed properly,

and so it goes.  Her flannel pajamas seem so warm for a warmer day

And I wonder if she is conjuring too. But no.

She is from the South of France.

Do Mosquitos die in those places in December?


Or is it all rebirth?

A Crèches was on the lawn of the neighbor up the hill.

It was pretty only in snow,

Though I must know that snow wasn’t in that manger.

I must know that there never was that manger, only the one now.

At 4 to 14 years old when I required it like the flake, and like

The prime rib.

The Chestnuts I roasted for 10 minutes on the fire with my old grandpa.


There was another Her there.

To watch wait with me. Stories, pasts, future, the beginning and no end.

Oh wait there was always an end,

“When I am gone…”

“No grandma it will never be. When you are gone this will all

Be sucked away into nothing.”


And it was.


Balanchine’s ballet tree was small for me.

Presents piled for weeks, in golds and reds.

My Pug always sleeping on my feet and head.


Are these across Henry Street the same red?

The bells are perfect, and the street spotted

with newspapers  and cups of coffee on trash day.

I weep for near Christmas future when the papers are gone

No longer able to light our fires, or bring culture crinkled in cans.


The mountains must be looking down on me, and we should climb them

by Honda and back seat harmony of home.

New now for 6 years sitting in silent, still, cold sadness.

A crèches again, with stars looking though us,

Better anyway than for them to follow.


The snowflakes will last longer,

The birch always white,

And the candle light.

She will hold my leg

You will rest on my shoulders

I will doze off into dreams of

A mental









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