Awake in bed at 2 am,
the house is dark, nothing stirring
but the mouse running around in your head--
was it a dark scarf she wanted or white?
The kids aren’t happy you forgot the advent calendar.
Better not forget the Christmas tree.
You’ve bought nothing for anyone yet--
better shop online again this year.
Must get a present for your co-worker too,
who will give you a book you won’t want,
won’t read, will shelve to gather dust.
The wind howls, a storm threatens,
limbs knock on the window
to remind you your end of year report is due, or else
you’ll be doing it on Christmas Day.
The in-laws are expecting to see you this year,
you told your aunt in the hospital you’d visit.
The wind howls, limbs knock,
and you still haven’t put on snow tires.
You repeat a Christmas mantra--
“Rest my soul, be at peace, rest”
until the mice stop running
and sleep overcomes.
Light on the window, you draw the shades.
Dawn is dazzling like stars on a sea of snow.
You step outside. Muffled sounds are whispering
rumors of rest. Conspiracies of peace murmur
from the feet of a passing priest--a nod
of his head tells you it's all true. Slowly,
solace settles in under your ribcage.
Go, phantoms rising in the night,
glide to your grassy graves and rest.
Rest, cars and delivery trucks.
Rest, mobiles and keyboards,
newscasters, markets, soldiers, mice.
Rest, children still asleep.
Rest all, your peace comes.