I just can't muster the desire to write a poem today. Christmas always makes me melancholy--especially as it's celebrated here in the States.
It was much kinder in France. As a student there I was stranded, my friends had gone home to their families, and I hadn't a centime in my purse to buy a table-top tree or a nice feast for myself. And yet, those ancient streets decorated in old fashioned garlands and twinkle-lights made Christmas gentle and beautiful, so that even when seen from without it shamed our blaring ads trumpeting guilt trips and our grasping, ravening crowds clawing for disposable bargains... What's happened to us, I wonder? When did we start giving our souls to bean counters?...
At this time of year, I find myself longing to see old friends I've lost contact with in the course of life's chaos, but I know there is little point. People move on almost before you have time to know them, and they don't appreciate it when their pasts catch up to them. Even if I did, I am not who I once was; what would I have to say to them? How long before the words died on our lips and our eyes slid to the nearest exit wishing we'd left things as they were, scrapbook perfect, instead of dragging mute memories into the present?
No, it is better this way. Here, in the silent white, I salute you, old friends. I remember.