Robert Pinsky

(October 20, 1940 / New Jersey)

December Blues - Poem by Robert Pinsky

At the bad time, nothing betrays outwardly the harsh findings,
The studies and hospital records. Carols play.

Sitting upright in the transit system, the widowlike women
Wait, hands folded in their laps, as monumental as bread.

In the shopping center lots, lights mounted on cold standards
Tower and stir, condensing the blue vapour

Of the stars; between the rows of cars people in coats walk
Bundling packages in their arms or holding the hands of children.

Across the highway, where a town thickens by the tracks
With stores open late and crèches in front of the churches,

Even in the bars a businesslike set of the face keeps off
The nostalgic pitfall of the carols, tugging. In bed,

How low and still the people lie, some awake, holding the carols
Consciously at bay. Oh Little Town, enveloped in unease.


Comments about December Blues by Robert Pinsky

  • Susan Williams (11/10/2015 2:48:00 PM)


    What a powerful vignette of townspeople at Christmas in a little town (Report) Reply

    12 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 6, 2015



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