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Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Poem for Winter

Touch Me
by Stanley Kunitz

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.

Bah Humbug

New months take me by surprise each time. December? How can it be December? It was just November yesterday. (Please note, for future reference, that November is my birth month and should be given all due veneration.) One would think that after twenty-three years of repetition, I would have gotten the routine down, but nay, good sir, such is not the case. December sucker-punched me. Right in the kisser. With a candy cane. And yes, I am going to continue to pout about it because I love December, and this year I'm just not ready for it. I am feeling very November still: a little bit Melville, a little bit grey and grizzly England, and a lot like the long slog is yet before me. In the meantime, I have visions of sugar plum Fs floating in my head, so if you will excuse me, I and my socially constructed notions of what is Right and my first year law student self-pity are going to go whimper in a corner. A cold corner. And don't even think about sending Christmas cheer our way.

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