SNOW AT SOLSTICE

the sun, a mere idea, a dim bulb of memory, the air full
of feathers, goose down, mattress ticking. The blanket
of sky glowers, lowers, as the light gives up too early.
As the year leaks out, the decade ends, we invade
another third world country, where bananas hang
from trees, coffee beans ripen, grenades explode
in the dust. Here, only the sumac has color,
its small red flames flickering against the snow.
We light candles in the coming dark.
~Barbara Crooker
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