Bio Note: I suppose I am a southern poet and many of my poems draw on that association. My poems have appeared in Poetry South, The NC Literary Review, and Asheville Poetry Review, plus on-line journals Vox Poetica, Courtland Review, and New Verse News. My second poetry collection, That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), was a nominee for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best poetry collections of 2016. I am a Pushcart nominee.
We dispose of Christmas greenery, box ornaments. I clear the mantel and study you mirrored over my shoulder. My fatigue lags, also framed there. Winter malaise shrouds our living room— libations so recently the norm. I shovel Yule ash out with cinders. After leftovers, we drive to the cemetery to retrieve Christmas arrangements, considering pertinent topics: over-spending and over-eating. Ginkgo branches sway in crisp breeze. I tighten my scarf. You bend to straighten a festive planter beside the cobblestone walk. Poinsettia frames and pale carnations decorate this grid. Adorned with faint smiles and warm fashions, we set high standards for one another: lovely trimmings and languages. Withered foliage to our chests, derivations surface, console what remains. Dissensions arise by habit, and you dump brown flowers in a convenient barrel.
©2021 Sam Barbee
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