Still After Everything

Here’s a poem I wrote last year, a good reminder to take things slow and actually enjoy the holiday season.

Still After Everything

After two bags of apples simmering all night
in cinnamon-honey hot springs
and dutch babies baking, flexing like children
pulling themselves from the pool into the barstools
for Christmas breakfast–

I do the dishes
collecting like snowflakes on the deck
railing outside the kitchen window.

After chasing sixteen pounds of turkey
with a Jenga plate of mashed potatoes,
stuffing, cheese and broccoli casserole,
biscuits, corn pudding, red wine, and cranberries
for Christmas dinner–

I take a break to shovel
several feet of ceramic
snow into the dishwasher.

Then the after-dinner party
of friends and family cheersing
sixty years of good times and company
and making two pots of coffee
around the left-over snowdrifts
in the sink–

I do the dishes. The turkey
pan scrubbed and tucked away
for a year when it will rise
from its digestive ashes.

Outside, the snow finally stopped.
Shoveling the driveway
and walking the dog
(I see neighbors gathered
around tables and candles
with moving mouths,
my rhythmed boot foot falls)
never sounded so still.


2 thoughts on “Still After Everything

  1. A beautiful poem Joel! I really enjoyed this one. I love the simile

    “I do the dishes
    collecting like snowflakes on the deck
    railing outside the kitchen window.”

    I think that is my favorite section of lines. The first stanza though didn’t speak to me. Once I hit these lines it really opened up and grabbed me. I wonder if that first stanza is even really needed? Something to think about anyway.

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