We count a lot of things in December.
It starts off right away with the days
until Christmas, until Santa arrives
with toys for good little girls and boys.
The four Sundays in Advent; hope,
faith, joy, and peace. Drummers drumming,
a partridge in a pear tree and everything
in between. Nine reindeer. Feet of a tree
we’re about to chop down, drag through
a field, cart home atop the family vehicle,
and place in the center of our living
room. Calories consumed. Times
we hear Mariah inform us that all
she wants for Christmas is us.
The hours until our holiday break
arrives. The number of cards that
arrive in our mailbox. Snowflakes.
The ever-growing number of empty
chairs at the table. The weight of
our grief. Christmases without you.
The last full moon of the decade greets
me as I step out into the cool, crisp
December night air, the dogs on my heels
for their last evening outing before we
cuddle up and dream of silent nights
and bouncy balls, or whatever dogs
dream about, legs running in the dark.
The last full moon of the decade waits
for me as the sunrise paints slow streaks
of purple into the morning sky, ice crystals
formed on the window as I sip my coffee,
cup warm in my hands, realizing a colorful
moonset seems appropriate for a decade of
beauty, of loss, of love, of living life.