You look back on another full year,
stilled, regretful , unfilled. You've yielded to the
impossible self-imposed expectations, to the
intoxicating allure of more of everything
because less means less, you're told,
but more needs more needs more, you know.
After misadventures, failures, paralysis from loss,
the crash, the crush, the cold, you find
you’ve forgotten exactly what joy feels like--
a bygone emotion you hung up and left behind
somewhere in a childhood Christmas tree.
Just when you’ve settled for the endless malaise,
you return home from a family outing,
gone longer than you’d planned because
the kids demanded ice cream for Christmas.
And when you open the door to a dark house,
your dog Jimmy greets you ecstatic, barking,
the long-awaited orphans come home. Bursting
down the hall and back, he rounds the table twice,
twisting, twitching, flipping—the pack is back intact!
Unable to contain himself, he smiles up
at his beloved regathered, wagging, as jubilant
as the dog in the Bethlehem stable. And just then,
in the re-membering, the joy you’d forgotten returns.