Treasure Island

michael hogan

(July 14,1943 / Newport, Rhode Island)

Christmas Morning in Providencia


After a night of firecrackers and rockets
heralding a heavenly host and a child king
the dog and I walk out into the mist
where just before dawn the cold rises from the earth
in icy tentacles.
The crows chorus their cawsome carols
and hummingbirds stitch the spaces between branches.
Nothing is amiss among the eucalyptus
and all the children are safe in their beds.

I think of the wary expectations of those few prisoners
still blessed in love
out beyond the Periférico where no one goes on Christmas
except their tired mothers or weary wives on a rattling bus
burdened by children and emboldened by love.
And how these women know that freedom is illusion,
how the best of us are again and again trapped by our affections
careless of complications until our lives are circumscribed.

The dog and I head home led by our mutual leash
in the muted dawn of a park in Providencia
as the sun comes weakly through the branches
and the icy breath of the north rises
and melts in the misty air.

Submitted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013

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