The HFR blog will be taking a short break to observe the Christmas holiday (at least the gift-giving, egg nog-drinking, loud jingle-singing part). We wish all of you a very happy holiday, whichever one(s) you celebrate! In parting, two favorite HFR Christmas poems...
Merry Christmas! by Philip Sorenson (issue #36, 2005)
Late at night I hear a giant scorpion in my bathtub. His pincers smack the porcelain, he must be on his back, stuck. I will go and look at his thin legs waving desperately in the air. He will be helpless, and I will take pity on him. I will not crush his skull. I will calm him and pick him up, cradle him in my arms like a child. He's not too big, only about the size of a small dog. I will hold him in my lap, and dress my scorpion in children's clothes, a little woolen cap decorated with reindeer and snowflakes. I will take pictures of us together sitting on a soft red couch. I will use the best picture, the one most flattering to us both, for next year's Christmas cards. I think I'm in love with this scorpion. We could be married. I might change my name to "Philip Fairbanks Scorpion-Sorenson" and he to "Scorpion Sorenson Scorpion."
Coal or Christmas Lights by Jacob Boyd (issue #41, 2008)
This time last year, two ponies
and a horse showed up in the cold
light of my front porch. Spilling
a silver bowl of water, they
took carrots from my hands.
When I ran, they ran.
Inside, my friends kept drinking
red wine as if nothing anywhere
had ever surprised them.
Out here in the sticks,
between trees, leaving
dishes. Hoof prints and frost.
A goose heard late at night,
far off, then overhead, then gone,
is hardly ever only a goose.
The way a child once,
lost in a campground, pedaling
in circles, cried like a duck.
And how he rode with me
past green and red lanterns,
the shame of every fire pit
glowing in his cheeks.
At last he found his campsite
and when he felt it close, he ran.