SUBZERO CHRISTMAS DAY
Backlit by the setting sun, you
raise the plastic circle lipward
and sound the hollow grace note that launches
the glossy ball skyward.
It rises through frigid atmosphere,
floating, untouched, through elm stems
furred with frost, following
the contour of the hill
to the place where I stand waiting,
weight forward, like an outfielder
eyeing a knuckling liner. I stretch
a gloved hand toward the bobbing sphere
and watch it crumble in the center of my palm
like the shell of some translucent egg
that has tumbled from a nest of pure air.
Another puff, and a phalanx of hollow forms
spirals toward me, as if the lighted tree inside
had loosed its ornaments, and they
whirled out an open door.
Engulfed by bauble,
I swipe at the glinting globes
with a frenzy only partially feigned,
for I am still desperate to hear your free laughter
and to know that we can be connected
in moments like these,
though they prove as rare and elusive
as glassy capsules of thin air
that shatter at a touch.
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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens
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