An exercise in ekphrasis
Gifts wrapped, tight
arranged under the shapely tree
Candles in every window,
Waving, as if in special invitation
“Here!” They say
Here is peace, joy, harmony
A table laid out in wedding china
set exactly once a year
Glistening fatted birds
Stuffed, roasted, stuffed again
and splitting with abundance
Cedar and holy hung, just so
Framing each scene
as if blocked for a performance
It’s impossible to imagine
It’s hard to picture love here too
Any human feeling:
floors muddy with melting snow,
mouths loud and happy. Instead,
opinions left at the door
nothing disagreeable, nothing uncomfortable
Music peacefully tuned and pitched
Silent night, sterile night
All is calm, without one fight.
Without any warmth to cut the cold.
A glass ornament falls and shatters.
The host laughs, remembers,
years ago, brother breaking mom’s prized
Before anyone can say anything, adds –
Yes, the dog jumped 8 feet in the air,
It was a Christmas miracle
A laughter erupts around the room.
Sammy Vickstein is a South Sound writer, focusing mainly on poetry and stories. He likes to write about what makes him laugh, makes him scared and what makes him take another breath. And he loves dogs.