Winter Break

In the sitting room, people are standing

which is how I know something is wrong

because nobody stands in a sitting room,

unless they’re scared of

intruding or changing or

spilling or saying something.

 

They tell me things and I nod and do that

sympathetic smile and I

look outside the window, where it’s

December still

and snow is melting.

 

I wonder who will keep the cat –

who wants a cat intent on crashing

the Christmas tree down on Christmas Eve

leaving silver bulbs shattered,

snow globe water

glistening on the hardwood floor

and the poor angel, her halo knocked off,

with her wings bent beneath her back.

 

Today’s December 31st and

pines already yellow on the curb.

Her father says something about forgiving the body

for all that it can’t do

as if we’re talking the crook of an elbow;

as if it has something to do with the body.

 

In my house, we call this a living room

but I can tell these walls don’t breathe,

which maybe explains why she stopped speaking that month

deciding she’d rather break something

than sip holiday lattes in her local Starbucks

with other girls her age.

And one could say that it’s all his fault

but you aren’t supposed to say these things

but you can think them

and I do.

 

I want the swimming pool

I want the daughter

No, I don’t want

to hear your resolution

I want an angel with her head screwed on tight

want the duck and the clock and the red tambourine.

 

All I want is her button jar

its cool, sleek buttons

want to hold them in my fist,

maybe forgive her.

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