William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

A Thimbleful of Ash

My mother writing Christmas cards, late into the night. The darkest time. The greatest light.

December 6, 2019

A Thimbleful of Ash

If you don’t eat your supper,
Santa won’t visit us tonight.
All the cookies will go to waste,
the cards, the toys, the bows.

A fire in the fireplace.
The front door left unlocked.
Somehow, Santa knows.

On the porch, a stack of wood.
Long lives, a thimbleful of ash.

With groggy eyes,
Santa’s looking at his map.
It’s foggy in the San Joaquin.
We’re getting nowhere fast.
On, Donner! On, Blitzen!
On, Stella and Maureen!

I don’t like macaroni.
Why not? You used to.
It squeaks. It squishes.
It isn’t green.

Can I have a cookie now?
No, those are for Santa.
Is Santa fat? Yes. He’s roly-poly.
Can I be roly-poly too?
Not without your macaroni.

The vineyards are asleep.
The neighbors have gone to bed.
In the far distance, a baby cries.
I still remember what he said:
Long lives, a thimbleful of ash.

Songs and Letters, December 24, 2005
Winter Poems, Cosmopsis Books, 2007

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Categories: New Poems & Pieces, Songs and Letters, Winter Poems

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