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Wednesday, December 21, 2011


by Karen Neuberg

They call this the bright season though darkness comes
early, in whiffs of chattering teeth and chills
from winds that blow and howl. Sun in a trivial reign.

But here in this interim hold, this small batch of weeks
around the winter solstice, we adorn the night with lights
and a festive mood of celebrations keeps us warm

Some hail the days as leading to a holy hour. Others
see a miracle of oil. Here in the winter world this side
of earth, we keep the days of darkness in abeyance

with colored lights, twinkling lights, shapes of our homes
outlined in lights, our windows decorated in lights
until we feel a ho ho ho suspend the coming plight

of dark that ekes into our bones, our frame of mind
during the long stretch of shortened daylight and cold
cold dead things around. No matter that we know

spring will arrive. We need another holiday to keep lights
calling to our hearts. Or perhaps we need a way to take
the dark times and listen to earth resting. Hear her

lullaby, keep her faith. Swear allegiance to her wellbeing,
feel her sighs of relief and restoration when we turn down the lights
allow her – and ourselves – to search darkness for its insights.

Karen Neuberg lives in Brooklyn and West Hurley, NY. Her chapbook Detailed Still was published by Poets Wear Prada Press. She has previously published at The New Verse News. For links to more of her work, go to