Poetry Friday:After the Holidays by Barbara Crooker

Be sure to visit Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading for the Poetry Friday Roundup!

concert for peace

The Concert for Peace, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City

Margaret Simon shared this poem on Facebook the other day, a perfect poem with which to begin a new year of Poetry Friday.

We still have our Christmas tree up, and there are holiday decorations strewn all over the house…but, there is definitely a feeling of “After the Holidays” this morning.  A new year begins, a fresh deck of cards and a new game plan beckon, even as we still enjoy the detritus of holiday warmth.

Happy New Year, Poetry Friday friends!  Here’s to another year of beautiful poems and friendship!

After the Holidays
by
Barbara Crooker

the house settles back into itself,
wrapped up in silence, a robe
around its shoulders.  Nothing
is roasting in the oven or cooling
on the countertops.  No presents
are waiting to be wrapped, no cards
fill the mouth of the mailbox.
All is calm, all is bright, sunlight
glinting off snow.  No eggnog, no yule
log, no letters to be licked
and stamped. No more butter
cookies, no more fudge, just miles
to go on the treadmill, another round
plate added to the weight machine.
All our good intentions pave the road.
We stride out into the new year,
resolute to become firm, to define
our muscles, to tighten our borders.
The thin tinsel of the new moon
hangs in the dark sky, a comma
dividing the sentence between
last year’s troubles and this year’s
hopes.  The calendar ruffles her pages,
a deck of shiny cards, deals out
a fresh new hand.

From Small Rain (purple flag, 2014).
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12 thoughts on “Poetry Friday:After the Holidays by Barbara Crooker

  1. I loved this poem when you and Margaret posted it on Facebook earlier this week! Perfect for today! I have way too much detritus from last year scattered around! I need to do some picking up today!

  2. I read this earlier in the week, too. I especially love these lines: “The thin tinsel of the new moon
    hangs in the dark sky, a comma
    dividing the sentence between
    last year’s troubles and this year’s
    hopes.”
    Thank you for sharing this again today. Happy New Year, Tara!

  3. I read this aloud to my mother. It’s such a perfect description of these slow days following Christmas. Today, we have a fire going and I’m cleaning up Christmas. Something rather restful about wrapping it all up.

  4. Lots to like in this poem, but I especially love that last sentence:
    “The calendar ruffles her pages,
    a deck of shiny cards, deals out
    a fresh new hand.”
    I hung new calendars in all my calendar spots today. I like the idea of those shiny cards and a fresh new hand. However, I refuse to pack away Christmas. Too many years, I was forced to rush because I was headed back to school. This year, I’m squeezing in a few more days of tinsel, lights, and greenery (much to hubby’s dismay).

  5. Tara, this line “a comma dividing the sentence between last year’s troubles and this year’s hopes” marks a movement for me to believe in the hopes that will unravel the troubles. I am still enjoying the Christmas spirit in my house. Sunday we will celebrate an early Little Christmas with friends. Happy New Year.

  6. Hi, Tara. I smiled when I saw that we selected the same poem to share this week. This is definitely how I’m feeling, heading into that first week back:

    No more butter
    cookies, no more fudge, just miles
    to go on the treadmill…

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