I always feel quiet and thoughtful this time of year. Right now it’s so cold here that even my snow-tunneling puppy doesn’t want to go outside. I just want as much time as possible sharing hot chocolate with my wife and hiding under the covers. It’s been a hard year, but also one I’m proud of. This is a poem I wrote for New Year’s five years ago, when my wife and I were in a long-distance relationship and I was just realizing that my migraines weren’t going to go away.
I am a superstitious woman.
It’s what happens to some of us
when all we can say is,
I hope nothing crashes today
what happens when we are tired
and I am so tired.
(You back out through doors
you build up every cairn you pass
when you wake up at night you whisper prayers
you know you’re not making the rules
you try to show good intent.)
Living is like any other hobby:
you get out of it as much as you put in,
enrollment fees are killer,
even if you do everything just right,
you break your back and can’t walk
for six months
if you’re lucky.
(I don’t look too long at things I want,
I don’t draw attention to beauty.
I have standards and they are all
keep your mouth shut.
I don’t say this girl is precious to me
like fresh eggs in the dead of winter,
that seeing her I might not starve.)
There are rules to these games,
not because anyone cares if you’re kind
smart lovely intoxicating. It’s just that
like a collision, like collusion
fate’s looking to happen to someone
and if you play along sometimes
maybe it won’t be you.
(But I still hope this year will be better
if I just greet it with strength and deference.
I believe that, though I heard no promises,
she will be there when I reach out.
When I am scared I still say look,
there is this girl who is precious to me
and my love for her is true as a dozen eggs.)