December orphans the dove
permits growing pains flight
whispers this is why you fought —
in a wrap of bright cerements
weans solstice with a mutter and a kiss
bestows sparkle to ruined promises.
December lends diamonds
spins a symphony in crackling trees
waltzes us to the whistle of sleet —
seizes the ripple in my weary stream
warns a feral life knows no end
argues reasons to abridge the verdict.
December chaperons chill
points out the joy in an ashen sky
bends all light across the gaunt branch —
she liquors my lips with her tongue
allows secrets loosed on a smile
re-pours the bitter vintage till it is gone.
December is a confession
knocking down the tell-tale curtain
promising weakness will set you free —
directs congealed communions
palming our dead leaves as wafers
proffers intinction in a frosty spirit
and glazes gravestones so I can sleep.
— Sam Barbee