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Thursday, December 23, 2010


by J. D. Mackenzie

Even my old friends
who never write fiction
provide great amusement
as Christmas draws near

They send us long lists
of glowing achievements
running with bulls
and promotions at work

I read of new toys
the red cars and sailboats
golf scores and condos
honor roll kids

Somehow they leave out
the scandalous secrets
their sad midlife crises
their doubts and their fears

Our Christmas letter
is boring by contrast
the truth is quite tranquil
we like it that way

It’s not that we suffer from
lives less fulfilling
it’s just that we share them
in far different ways

J. D. Mackenzie was born in rural Oregon and wandered through brief careers as a steelworker, sommelier, psychiatric aide (following in the footsteps of his much older fraternity brother Ken Kesey) and grant writer before eventually settling into his current roles as college administrator and poet.  A 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee for Poetry, his work has appeared in several anthologies and publications, including Rogue River Echoes, New Verse News, Four and Twenty, Poets Ponder Photographs, The Moment, and Poets for Living Waters. He lives with his family in the foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range.